Chapter 259 : Long-Term Plan
After I finished helping Celine refine her Crystal Branch, we went to the bathhouse as usual.
After that, I went to Ester’s house, leaving Celine and Nicola at the bathhouse.
I decided to go to her house because I was worried. After all, she left suddenly in a panic as if she was running away from me.
After I knocked on the door of Ester’s house, Stina-san came out. She was holding Rumilu in her arms.
「Ara, Mark-kun. Are you looking for Ester?」(Stina)
「Yes. She left all of a sudden, so I’m kinda worried. Is she alright?」(Mark)
「Uhh… Actually, she has a fever, so she is sleeping in her bed now. It’s better if you leave her alone for now.」(Stina)
「Fever? I see… I guess I gave her too much mana…」(Mark)
Unlike Celine, Ester rarely uses magic, so I think her magic bowl is quite small. Therefore, she can’t handle too much mana at once.
I didn’t expect that what I was afraid of really happened…
I’m sorry, Ester… I should have injected my mana more slowly.
「Stina-san, I’m sorry… I think she has a fever because of me…」(Mark)
「Eh? No, no. It’s not your fault. It’s just… She was too embarrassed over a misunderstandingー Aa! No, I mean… That’s right! She got too excited about her Portal Stone! She was so happy that she had finally completed it!」(Stina)
Stina-san replied flusteredly, perhaps because she saw my regretful face.
It seemed that she didn’t want me to feel guilty about Ester’s fever.
「Well, you know? She’s still a child, so it’s not weird that she was excited that the Portal Stone she had been working on for years had finally been completed.」(Stina)
「Is that so?」(Mark)
「Y, Yeah, so you don’t have to worry about her.」(Stina)
「So, she’s really alright then?」(Mark)
「Yeah, she’s fine. You can leave her to me! I’m sure she will recover in no time!」(Stina)
「That’s good to hear…」(Mark)
Stina-san smiled at me, trying to make me feel relieved.
「Anyway, you can play with her again tomorrow as usual.」(Stina)
「Alright then. Please tell her to take care of herself for me.」(Mark)
「Fufu~ I will, you lady killer~!」(Stina)
Saying that, Stina-san slapped my back.
Honestly, it hurts so much.
At first, I wondered if Stina-san was angry with me, but her smiling face told me something completely different.
I guess it was just my imagination…
In the early morning of the next day, the sound of someone knocking on the door woke me up as usual.
I opened the door and saw Ester. She looked kinda shy because of her red face.
Unlike yesterday, she is wearing her usual boyish clothes today.
「G, Good morning, Mark…」(Ester)
「Good morning, Ester. How’s your fever? Are you feeling better now?」(Mark)
「Yeah, your mom told me that you had a fever yesterday.」(Mark)
「Aah! That’s right! Y-Yes, I had a fever yesterday, but I’m totally fine now!」(Ester)
「That’s great. I was worried that I might have injected too much mana into your body.」(Mark)
「No, no. You’ve done a wonderful job helping me refine my Portal Stone! I was just too overjoyed with the completion of my Portal Stone, ahaha! … Umm… Anyway, I’m sorry I left you all of a sudden yesterday.」(Ester)
「It’s okay. By the way, you mentioned ‘misunderstanding’ yesterday, and your mom mentioned that too. I wonder what kind ofー」(Mark)
「ーAwawawawa! I, It’s nothing! Really! I’ll be happy if you can forget it ーNo. Please forget it and don’t ever ask about it!」(Ester)
Ester put her hands together and bowed to me.
Suspicious… She definitely misunderstood something, but… Oh well, it doesn’t matter.
I might hurt her feelings if I ask about it again.
「Alright, alright. I won’t ask about it.」(Mark)
「Th, Thank you… Uuu~ It’s so embarrassing now that I’m thinking about it… I have to be more careful from now on… Alright, enough with this topic. Let’s wake Nicola up and go to my house!」(Ester)
While saying that, Ester got inside, took off her shoes, and grabbed my hand.
I was a bit surprised because we rarely hold hands recently.
When I looked at her face, Ester scratched her cheek and looked away shyly.
「U, Umm… It’s been a little too embarrassing for me to hold your hand, but… Can I… hold your hand every time I want like before…?」(Ester)
「Of course. I don’t mind.」(Mark)
「Th, Thank you, Mark…」(Ester)
Honestly, it made me a little happy.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel lonely because we stopped holding hands. I thought she was avoiding me.
While holding hands, we entered the house and walked toward the bedroom to wake Nicola up.