Ryuu Kusari no Ori -Kokoro no Uchi no “Kokoro”-


Chapter 8.31

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Chapter 8.31

Lisa's sudden but firmly expressed confession.

Nozomu's heart skipped a beat, and the intense heat made his whole body boil.

Meanwhile, Lisa looked dissatisfied with Nozomu's shocked and speechless state.

"... Why are you so surprised? It's a little hurtful."

"No, umm..."

"In the first place, if I didn't like you, I wouldn't ask you to go on another adventure with me, would I? I mean, why would I ask you out?"

She was absolutely right.

Nozomu, too, had been aware of Lisa's unchanging affection for him, but he had not had much experience of being confronted with a confession of love from the front like this.

In fact, when he and Lisa first started dating, it was Nozomu who confessed his feelings to her.

While they were dating, they had expressed their feelings for each other, but perhaps because they had spent so much time apart and so much time avoiding each other, her direct words of confession had a greater impact on him than he could have imagined.

"That's, umm..."

"Haa, the past Nozomu was so pa.s.sionate, but now you have become such a spineless person. I thought things were going back to normal when you pulled my hand after that monster captured me..."

Nozomu turned his head away from Lisa, who put her hand on her cheek and let out a sigh, as if he felt embarra.s.sed.

"I think it's Lisa who's changed so much."

"It was Nozomu who changed me, wasn't it? No, I didn't change, I reverted back, I guess. When I was still hesitating, you came on to me forcefully, as if to say, look at me! Forcing me to turn toward you..."

"N-, no, that's..."

Nozomu started to get fl.u.s.tered again after Lisa began to talk about what Nozomu had done to her.

In fact, his behavior to Lisa following his decision to confront her could be seen by others as stalking her.

Regardless of the rumors around him and regardless of Lisa's outright rejection of him, he was still pushing his way toward her.

"On top of that, when I thought we were getting back together again, you just shunned me at the very end. You're terrible..."

Moreover, despite going to such lengths, Nozomu turned down Lisa's confession in the end.

No wonder Lisa, who was in fact being dumped, was dissatisfied.

However, the tone of voice and the place to voice that dissatisfaction were not right.

The people in the city who were also relaxing in the central park were pointing at Nozomu and starting to whisper to each other.

On top of that, Lisa started pretending to cry, which made the stares directed at Nozomu even more unsettling.

"Hey, wait... watch the way you say it! The way you say it~!"

"Sorry, sorry. I'm joking!"

The gazes from people around her softened as Lisa laughed off Nozomu's screaming.

Apparently, they understood that Nozomu was just being made fun of.

Instead, the stares from those around them turned to a warm one, as if they were looking at a couple in their first year.

The people around them uttered such comments as, "Arara~, it's so nice to be young~!".

Nozomu's shoulders slumped as he glared at the people around him as they dispersed, expressing an inexpressible sense of exhaustion.

"P-, please don't do that. It's bad for my heart."

"But I was happy, you know. You looked at me properly and held me..."

Suddenly, Lisa stood up and came around to Nozomu's front and peered down at his face.

"Hey, Nozomu, can I try it one more time?"

"W-, what are you trying to do?"

"You know..."

Lisa's hand gently touched Nozomu's cheek.

Her face filled Nozomu's field of vision.

"Because I thought it was my chance. I saw the two of you this morning. So, I thought, I can't keep quiet about it."

With her moistened eyes reflecting Nozomu's face, Lisa again began to express her feelings in a torrent of words.

"I love you, Nozomu. More than anyone else in the world..."

A gentle statement that penetrated deep into his ears.

Unlike the previous, casual confession, the feelings that resonated to the core of his heart seeped into Nozomu's heart as if water had been sprinkled on a desert.

"Please, be with me. Stay by my side, forever..."

"Lisa... I..."

Nozomu felt his consciousness fading away as if he were being sucked into a dream.

Her smiling face filled his field of vision.

She looked so charming, so fragile, and so alluring that he wanted to hold her with both hands.

Her swaying eyes reflected Nozomu's face in a pleading manner. The sound of her heart, thumping quietly resounded in his ears.

Was she this attractive?

Nozomu was not the only one who had broken down once, had his heart broken, and still stood on his feet.

Lisa, too, stood up even though she was completely broken. She faced her dream once again.

Her fragile spirit has grown rapidly, and she has begun to acquire the charm of an adult woman a step sooner.

The girl whom he was attracted to from his childhood, and who became his lover at one period in his life.

Even now, Nozomu's feelings for her remain deep in his heart. He also wished for her to make her dream come true. That was why Nozomu kept trying to face her, even though she kept rejecting him.

"I'm sorry ... Right now, I can't go with you after all."

Nevertheless, the words that came out of Nozomu's mouth were the same as before.

If he had been the man he was when he first came to this city, he would have taken her hand without hesitation, and he would have lived with her.

He would have left Arcazam, had adventures together, and one day returned to their hometown to raise their children. Such was the life they would have led.

However, something was still stuck in Nozomu's mind.

A gentle warmth that was different from the pa.s.sion he had felt in the past.

It was appealing to him in a different way.

Seeing Nozomu like this, Lisa was not discouraged, but instead smiled gently.

"Well, I figured so. Nozomu is a stubborn person after all."

"Am I really that stubborn?"

"Yes, stubborn, so stubborn. You're just like your father."

Upon hearing those words, Nozomu looked somewhat apologetic.

Perhaps sensing his negative feelings, Lisa chuckled and waved her hand in a platonic, light tone, as if to brush off his guilt.

"Didn't I already tell you before? Nozomu, you already fulfilled your promise to me."

With a carefree smile, Lisa took her gaze away from Nozomu for a moment and muttered.

"I still want to be a genuine adventurer after all. Nozomu, what do you want to be in the future?"

What he wants to do, not what he ought to do. It is not an obligation or a duty, but a desire. What do he wants to be?

Even after being told something like that, Nozomu still could not come up with anything.

All that came to mind was Tiamat and his own unique abilities. And he was frustrated by the fact that he was not moving forward.

"... I don't know. There are so many things I have to do."

"Hmm, I guess I just don't get it, even though you won't accept my confession..."

Lisa began to tease Nozomu's heart again. Cold sweat broke out again on his forehead.

Nozomu's mixed feelings about Lisa cause him to avert his gaze slightly. At that moment, she plopped down on his lap.

"Lisa, what in the world are you ... Uwa!"

Nozomu's voice was raised as he felt the sudden close contact with Lisa.

On the other hand, Lisa sat on Nozomu's lap as if she was a child and looked into Nozomu's eyes again.

"I knew it. You said you were troubled about something. But, I see..."

Despite Nozomu's dismay, Lisa looked up to the sky, as if she had just understood what was going on.

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"Hey, Nozomu, why don't you just go ahead and do what you want? You already know what you really want to do, don't you? It's just that, right now, you can't see it."

"No, I mean, you know..."

Although his frustration subsided, albeit slightly. However, instead, another type of agitation came up.

Lisa is still sitting on Nozomu's lap.

The soft feeling of a girl on his thighs caused Nozomu's cheeks to heat up.

And even though he had rejected her, she was still his first love. For that reason, the embarra.s.sment that welled up in his chest was tremendous.

Her beautiful face and her faintly sweet fragrance. His heart pounded wildly, and his whole body felt like hot steel.

"I want to stay like this forever, though? If you want, we could stop by the inn nearby for a bit."

While tilting her head cutely, Lisa uttered a line that he could not help but find hard to believe.

It wasn't as if Nozomu didn't know what she was going to do when they stopped by the inn. The fact that he knew it was the reason why his head was in a state of turmoil.

"O-, oi oi. You shouldn't joke-..."

"Do you think I'm joking?"

Nozomu was flapping his arms and legs as if he were an insect that had fallen into the water, and he should have been able to resist her by doing so, but despite his flailing head that was moving right and left, his body was completely rigid.

In the meantime, Lisa gently cupped Nozomu's cheeks with both hands and quickly brought her face close to his.

"E-, eh?"


Although smiling jokingly, Lisa's lips slowly moved to invade the distance between her and Nozomu, with a bewitching and serious glint in her eyes.

The seductive color of her lips makes his brain melt. Lisa's cheeks were also tinted with a hint of vermilion as she moved closer.

"Wha, wait...!"

Their lips were nearly overlapping. Their lips were so close to each other that they could already feel each other's breath on their lips.

However, when they were within a fingernail's distance of each other, Lisa's lips abruptly stopped advancing.

One second, two seconds, three seconds.

Then, at the fifth second, Lisa's lips abruptly parted.

"... A~ A~. I've been interrupted at a crucial moment~. Well, it can't be helped, I guess. As expected, I can't hold it back."


While withdrawing the charming smile that had appeared on her face a moment ago, Lisa moved away from Nozomu's lap.

Lisa quickly landed on the ground, leaving Nozomu in confusion.

She took one look at him as he sat stunned on the bench, then leaned forward so that she could stick her face out, and gave him a broad smile that was different from the one she had just given him, which was full of charm and s.e.x appeal.

"Well then, see you later, Nozomu. Oh, and I'll take this as well, as a referral fee for the store."

As Lisa said so, she held up her right hand as if to show it to Nozomu.

In her hand were a couple of mithril bells that Nozomu had made at the blacksmith workshop.

"Ah, when did you take that!?"

"I'll take them as a reward for introducing you to a good store. You made a lot, so it's fine, right? Well then, see you later!"

Before Nozomu has time to reach out, Lisa put the bell she took away, spun around on her heel, and walked away.

Nozomu, who was left alone and stunned, looked at her back and let out a big sigh and leaned against the back of the bench.

"She did all sorts of foul things..."

For a moment, he was almost captivated by his former love. While sighing over this fact, Nozomu continued to sit on the bench and look up at the dim winter sky until his violently racing heart calmed down.


While Nozomu was sitting on the bench looking up at the sky, Lisa, who was far away from the central park, abruptly stopped a few meters into an alley from the main street.

"I'm not sure if it's bad timing or what. Peeping isn't a good thing to do. Don't you think so, Shina-san?"

After she turned around, she saw two girls standing at the entrance of the alley.

Shina and Mimuru. They were schoolmates of Lisa's at the academy, and were the people whom she was indebted to in the Abyss Grief incident.

With a provocative smile on her face, she rang the bell she had s.n.a.t.c.hed from Nozomu.

Shina's eyes, which had been filled with reproach, began to take on a menacing color at the sight of this.

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