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Chapter 299 – Victory Scar (3)

    Chapter 299 - Victory Scar (3)

    The two people held each other firmly and stood there for a while. It was a distance where their warm breaths could be felt, as well as the rise and fall of their chests.

    Theodore's unfamiliar tears quickly subsided.

    However, Theodore kept burying his face in Veronica's hair. When was the last time he'd cried? It had been at least 10 years since he stopped letting his emotions run wild. These weren't tears shed from extreme pain.

    He didn't want to show his face to Veronica because he himself didn't know what he looked like.

    'Ah, I don't know why, but I feel relieved...' He had a personal desire to stay where he was.

    However, he couldn't fool Veronica's senses.

    "Are you okay now?" She gently pulled slightly away, wiping away the tear marks still left behind on his face.

    Veronica's touch was so mild and sweet, so different from her normal self that Theodore felt his face flush.

    "Ahh... My kid, you are really cute." Unsurprisingly, Veronica noticed his blush and playfully ruffled his black hair.

    Maybe their inner turmoils were easily revealed because this was his spiritual world. Just as Theodore didn't control his feelings, she did actions that she wouldn't normally do. Veronica realized what she had done and stiffened.

    Meanwhile, Theodore released the hug and opened his mouth, "Sister, there are many stories that I have been hiding."

    There was a mountain of stories that no one knew aside from Vince―no, some even Vince didn't know. Veronica was connected to him with an eternal contract, so he wasn't worried about her betraying him. Above all, she had almost died from Invidia's sword, so she deserved to hear Theodore's secrets.

    Everything had started the moment Theodore met the grimoire, Gluttony. He was about to confide the whole truth when―

    "Oh, that's enough."

    Veronica pressed her fingers against his lips.

    "Huh?"

    "I already know. Just as you were looking into my memories, I was watching yours. Let's just say we are a draw when it comes to this part, okay?"

    Theodore looked at her with bemusement, before asking a question, "...Then why don't you blame me?"

    "Huh? For what?"

    "You became Invidia's target and ended up like this because of me."

    "Why is it because of you? It is the fault of that damn monster. And I am responsible for protecting myself. Don't be sorry about not protecting me, understood?"

    Was she angry? Veronica stared fiercely into his eyes.  This caused Theodore to bow his head and mutter, "Still, now you will die if I die."

    There was no way to release a permanent contract. Even if he reached the 9th circle, the bound souls would still be the same. The person with a quarter dragon's vitality would die when Theodore died.

    It had been the only way to save her, but Theodore couldn't help feeling guilty. However, Veronica's reaction was unexpected. "Uh, it is fine."

    "...Huh?"

    "I don't hate it because I feel connected to you..." Veronica stopped speaking the moment the words popped out. However, she couldn't swallow down the words that had already emerged, causing the two of them to hide their red faces.

    Then Veronica remembered something. "Ah, that reminds me, I did see one thing that made me angry."

    Before Theodore could respond to the change in expression, Veronica got right up close to him and growled fiercely, "The things you did secretly with that worm, I saw it all."

    "Eh?" Theodore was embarrassed by the unexpected words when Veronica's hands hit his chest. "Uwaaat!"

    As expected from the power of a quarter dragon, it was enough to blow Theodore away. Theodore flew through the air for a few meters, before landing on a fluffy floor. No, it was a fairly large bed. This place was filled with a pile of books just before, so why was there suddenly a bed?

    "This is your mental world, but it is possible for me to interfere as long as you aren't hurt. It isn't a big deal to turn this library into a bedroom."

    Rather than the scent of parchment paper, there was a sweet fragrance and red curtains draped over the bookshelves. It had the subtle atmosphere of a typical bedroom. Theodore was about to speak when a red robe fell and covered his eyes. "W-Wait a minute."

    Just after that...

    "I won't wait," Veronica declared.

    While Theodore was throwing the red robe to the side, Veronica got on top of him and pushed down on his chest with her left hand. It might be different with magic, but she was stronger when it came to pure arm strength.

    With one hand holding Theodore's body, she pulled off the rest of her clothes. Her smooth curves were revealed as her clothes were removed. By the time she was left in just her underwear, Veronica realized that all of Theodore's resistance beneath her had disappeared.

    "Haaah... Theo." She took her hand off his chest and touched his face.

    There were no thoughts about running away.  As she looked into Theodore's eyes, Veronica whispered sweetly, "Now, are you ready? More time is needed before your body wakes up..."

    Subsequently, her red hair mixed with black.

    *  * *

    Tweet tweet, chirp chirp.

    The cheerful cries of birds announced the morning. Some people were sleeping and wouldn't hear the sound, while others had already started their day. It was a common thing. The same thing would be seen differently from other points of view.

    In that sense, this morning was a special moment for Theodore Miller.

    "...Ah...."

    He raised his eyelids and made a bemused expression.

    'This place...?'

    It was a familiar ceiling of a room in his distant memories.  Then Theodore looked around and met her eyes. The great magician, Veronica, was lying on the opposite bed. She stretched out like she had just woken up and looked at him with blurred eyes.

    "―Did you sleep well?" Veronica sent him a bewitching smile, making his stomach spin.

    "Uh!" That was enough to send an electrifying feeling shooting down his spine, and the buried memories overflowed. In the depths of the spiritual world, they had spent a few days in a place where only the two people with connected souls could share.

    Well, no, a few days wasn't accurate. It might've been a couple of minutes or a few months. In the midst of the pleasure, the two of them hadn't rested for a single moment until their bodies were restored.

    'Sigh, I don't know what face to make after that.'

    Theodore, who had been famous for his chastity during his school days, had old-fashioned ideals. The relationship they had in the spiritual world wasn't light and couldn't be treated as nothing.

    On the other hand, Veronica was perfectly at ease. She was watching him happily like a lioness who was full. This bizarre atmosphere continued until the servants entered the room. They finished the meal, and there was a brief overview.

    "Red Tower Master Veronica and Captain Theodore. His Majesty desires an audience. However, he said that if you want, you can rest until the sun goes down," the servant respectfully bowed as he spoke to the two people.

    Theodore and Veronica had lost consciousness for four days and were injured, so he gave them some time. However, this matter was so heavy that Kurt couldn't help feeling anxious. Veronica guessed the situation and laughed lightly, getting off the bed. "It can't be helped. Then what now?"

    Veronica hugged Theodore's arm.

    "Vero―ah, no, Red Tower Master..."

    "Are you going to be shy now? I think it is too late."

    It was true. The nature of her relationship with Theodore had deepened. He tried to suppress the memories that the touch of her arm recalled and spoke her name, "Veronica."

    "Yes, Theo." She no longer called him a kid. They called each other's names because they were now on an equal footing.

    The two people stood shoulder to shoulder naturally and left the infirmary, with the people outside creating a path for them. Blue Tower Master Blundell had died, so there was no one who could block the path of two 8th circle magicians.

    They walked through the corridors and passed into the uninhabited hallways of the palace. They were almost to the room where Kurt III was waiting when Veronica spoke. Her voice was unusually quiet, reminiscent of her exquisite elegance.

    "Theo."

    "Yes?"

    "Don't worry about our relationship. I was the one who pressed you down, and I didn't think it would last long after waking up."

    "But―"

    "Besides, there is a confession that you haven't answered."

    He paused, but he then managed to take another step. That's right, there was Ellenoa's confession. She was someone who had sincerely whispered that she loved him.

    It was too much to hold onto another's woman's hand while leaving Ellenoa to wait.

    "...Thank you, Veronica."

    Veronica laughed and hugged his arm more firmly. "Heh, anyway, I am yours. I will be by Theo's side, no matter who you choose."

    "Isn't that a bit difficult?"

    "You will understand if you have a red dragon's blood."

    Even if he insisted on logic, it was nothing in front of a charming beauty. Theodore realized it and faced the door of the reception room in front of him. Did the king want to secretly meet both people?

    Unlike other times, there were no guards or servants present. Before Veronica could kick down the door, Theodore reached out his hand.

    Kukukukung...!

    The giant door split open, and the king was revealed.

    "First of all, thank you for agreeing to my unreasonable request." The face of Kurt the third, the king of Meltor, was more haggard than usual. His wise purple eyes were blurred with fatigue, and his bright golden hair had lost its shine.

    There were too many possible options to guess the reason for his tiredness.

    The two people approached and tried to give their greetings.

    However, Kurt waved his left hand and stopped it. "There is no need for formalities. I shouldn't trouble you after you just got out of bed. I wanted to give you a few more days to rest, but a king's duties don't go away."

    "It isn't a problem, Your Majesty."

    "I'm thankful for your words. First, I heard a series of reports from White Tower Master, but only you know what happened after Blundell's death. Please tell me."

    There was no one better for this role than Theodore.

    "...I understand." Theodore stepped forward, away from Veronica, and faced Kurt.  Was it due to his repeated struggles with so many monsters? The king's face now looked middle-aged and fatigued.

    "However, I have something to say before that."

    If so, the hesitation belonged to Theodore, whose hesitation was unrelated to external factors.

    Unlike his plan to face the king with all his determination and seek cooperation, the words didn't fall easily from his mouth. After all, he had hidden it for several years. It wasn't easy to talk about it to the ruler of a country whom he didn't have a close relationship with, unlike Veronica.

    Kkuok.

    Did she read his hesitation? Theodore trembled at the warmth that grabbed his right hand and he soon relaxed. She, Veronica, was with him. What did he need to be afraid of?

    "Your Majesty. I, Theodore Miller―"

    Theodore jumped with his own free will over the wall he had hit.
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