After the meal, Arisa laid in bed next to me.
Then, she took off my blindfold.
The two us lied down in the same bed, and looked up at the ceiling.
We don't talk to each other.
Arisa hugged me.
I just keep still.
We share the silence.
As if to make up for something we were missing, we just, cuddled.
It was like how beasts lick each other's wounds.
When it was time to eat Arisa prepared food and fed me, who couldn't move. Besides this, naturally Arisa came with me to the toilet and in the bath.
I tried to do what I could with the shackles attached to me, but I wasn't able to wash myself in the bath, so I had to borrow Arisa's help.
……However, nothing more than that happened.
I didn't feel like it.
Now that I'm confined, we don't speak, and nothing unexpected happens, so we just stay silent. We just occasionally speak in simple phrases.
If I were to say something that happens, it'd be that Arisa occasionally says things like, 'Edgar will forever be mine……you can't live without me……', and holds me as if to imprint that onto my brain.
While we did that, 3 days pa.s.sed by.
……There weren't particularly any problems……or so I'd like to think.
Then, on the night of my 3rd day of confinement.
"……Ed, should I remove the shackles?"
The moonlight is shining into Arisa's room.
While her body was flooded in it, Arisa said that.
"No, it's fine. Arisa, you can remove them if you want to."
I refuse her proposal.
This isn't a problem of having shackles or not.
This is a problem between Arisa and I.
"……Are you interested?"
To Arisa who's looking at me suspiciously, I say 'Well,' and lightly laugh.
"……Instead of that, can you tell me about you? Tell me about the Arisa I don't know."
Arisa who was snuggling up to me, *gyuu* grabbed my clothes.
"I don't know that much about you.
Just like I told you before, on that night of the full moon, when you told me you loved me."
Arisa slowly began to straddle on me.
"Yeah, I did say that."
Arisa brings her face closer to me.
It seemed like our lips would make contact soon.
"⸺What about it?"
*Jii* Arisa looked at me.
"Have your feelings changed at all?"
"Of course they haven't."
Arisa spoke in a strong voice.
"I love you. I won't let anybody get in the way of that. Not even you."
All of a sudden, her eyes narrow. Not allowing me to speak twice, Arisa spoke strongly.
And then, I said it.
"……I want to love you too."
Arisa's gaze gets entangled with mine.
"Arisa, I love you too."
As if she couldn't believe it, Arisa *jii* stared at me.
"……Why? Ed? Even though I'm this ugly?"
Arisa spoke with self-derision.
"My body is like that. My heart's like that too. Since you're from another world I don't think you know this, but because I have gray hair and red eyes, no one will properly speak to me. Because I look like this, I was alienated from everyone. Even my parents."
Arisa is biting her lips.
⸺But I don't think that.
"Even my heart is ugly. Even to the person I love, I did something like this. No, I know it.
……I'm greedy, I really am. I want you to be mine, and I want to be yours."
"Ed……I can't stop. These corrupt feelings increase with each pa.s.sing day.
What are you saying you love about this ugly me……!?"
"⸺You're not ugly."
⸺Arisa is beautiful. She's been like that ever since I first met her.
"I don't know what other people think. Still, I think your hair is pretty, and I think I want to look into your eyes forever. What you think doesn't matter.
I've never thought that I hate it when you fawn on me. I like the time I spend with you."
Tears fell from Arisa's eyes.
Arisa shook her head from side to side.
She seemed to be in pain, sad, and happy as she cried while covering her face with her hands.
"……Edgar, will you love me?"
"……Even though I'm this ugly?"
"……Even though I'm so greedy?"
"You loved me."
"……Is it alright for me to love you?"
"Yeah, people are hungry for love. Of course, I am too. Love me more and more."
I speak while joking around a bit.
Arisa moved her hands, and showed me her face.
She was smiling.
"Hey, am I disqualified as your disciple?"
"……Of course, you're disqualified."
Arisa's faces approached me.
It tasted salty.
"……An idiot like you is disqualified as my disciple⸺at most, you're my lover."
While shedding tears, Arisa was smiling.
From the ones I've seen from Arisa so far, it seemed to shine the most.
After that I was released from the shackles, and I had a long, long discussion with Arisa in the garden.
I heard about how Arisa had to live while being persecuted because of her appearance.
I heard about her mentor.
I heard that she was lonely after her mentor died.
I heard that she wanted somebody to be by her side.
And finally, I heard that she fell in love with me.
I also spoke.
About my childhood.
About how my real parents died, and I was taken in.
About my father.
About my mother.
About when my father disappeared.
About when my mother died.
About how I had a hard time living after that.
Underneath the full moon, we talked all about ourselves.
Sometimes laughing at stories of our failures.
Sometimes crying about our misfortune.
The time that we didn't have enough, but definitely need, was there.
I think that on this day, we finally became a family.
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