Among Dreams, Realities, and Illusions
(Author’s note: Set right after the end of the puberty arc, so it’s soon.)
–It was a strange space.
Nevertheless, 『I』didn’t think that it was 『strange』 at all.
All black and whites gathered in place. This was a space, constructed of just that.
Even though there wasn’t a single colour present, looking around the monotone 『world』 that has enveloped everything, the place appeared to be unfathomably large, and was like some sort of encaged miniature garden. And for some reason I knew that 『I』 was also something that existed in this place.
With『Chairs』lined up in a circular fashion, 『I』came to realize that they all shared something in common – size, shape, etc.
Set up there, were『thrones』.
These seven which had been placed next to each other, each had an 『owner』who should be sitting on them.
Their figures and shapes couldn’t be seen, but there was definitely a strong presence of 『ownership』 floating around each and every 『throne』.
I look around at them one by one.
In front of a particular 『throne』, was a blade smeared with blood, and in front of another 『throne』 was a water jug filled to the absolute brim. I look at the 『throne』 around which a wilting tree had entwined itself, and the 『throne』 that had a thick book sitting on it — From there, I surveyed the 『thrones』 one by one, and stopped myself in front of the first 『throne』.
There, and only there, was there no 『owner』.
And 『I』 understood that, 『that Throne』 would be looking for an 『owner』 from here on.
And 『I』 understood the reason why 『I』 ended up here, could be said to be because — I ended up fulfilling 『a condition』.
That, was a decision that 『I』 should have loathed the most.
It was once the reason as to why I had lost everything, and would be the choice where I betray the feelings of protection he still possessed.
“I don’t want it.”
Which is exactly why, I shook my small head, and muttered to decline.
“This thing, this thing I don’t want, I…”
What 『I』 wished for, searched for was —
“What’s wrong, Latina?”
I woke up to a gentle voice.
Blinking her eyes a few times, she remembered that she was 『in the safest place in the world』.
A room full of warmth. A room where they shared their precious memories. And even then, her most 『loved, and warm place』.
“Did you have a bad dream?”
Ever since she was young, he would always say that and gently brush her hair. Feeling his large, warm hands, all her fearful thoughts, and nightmares would melt away.
She was happy to be pat by him, and happy to hear him say “Your hair is beautiful”, and so she couldn’t go cut it. He most likely didn’t realise it, but his casual actions and words, were all treated very importantly to her.
There was nothing to be scared of.
If it was 『here』, if it was next to his warmth then, nothing scary would ever happen. 『This here』, was the safest place in the world, after all.
“I told you, I’m alright.”
She smiles happily, and like a kitten, drew her face towards the warmth, and fell into the warm slumber.
Because she didn’t want to think about it.
That, she would one day part from this 『warmth』.
The one 『thing』 she has ever wanted. The one 『thing』 she, herself, has always wished for. The 『one』 next to her, who she was right now sharing an overflowing, abundant amount of happiness with. But, she would one day have to part with it.
— What should I do once I lose it, I wonder?
In order not to think about that, she went into a deep, deep sleep.