Book 2 Chapter 3 – Black Dress

Knock…knock…knock…

I could faintly hear the knocking on the door.

Knock…knock…knock…

“Sakura-san? Are you in there? Z-san had told me to bring some hot water for you.” I could faintly hear a woman’s voice from outside the door. “I will be entering okay?”

Clack…

Hearing someone entering, I sluggishly sat up on the bed and rubbed my eyes.

“Are are~~~ I didn’t know that Z-san is such a beast~~~ You really can’t see it from his face~~~” The teasing voice of the Innkeeper’s daughter startled me awake.

I just then realized that the quilt covering my body had slid down and showed her my bare upper body. I panicked and covered my body with the quilt in a hurry.

“It’s fine, it’s fine~~ We are both female… Don’t worry, I won’t tell mother about it. I will leave the hot water here, okay?” She put the the hot water bucket on the floor and proceeded to walk back to the door. “Oh, right. Do you want me to change the sheet? It will be 2 copper coins.”

Remembering the mess I did last night, I felt my face warming up and nodded to her, “Yes, please…”

After she left, I started cleaning up my body with the hot water. Only then did I realize that there were red marks all over my body. They were the marks he had left after kissing me…

I felt so embarrassed when I realized that the Innkeeper’s daughter were actually talking about them when he said that Zed was a beast…

‘… Zed is a pervert beast…’

I also washed my underwear and put it on the chair beside the bed to dry.

After cleaning up and wearing a new set of clothes, I went down to the lounge to ask the Innkeeper’s daughter where Zed had been.

She then said that early this morning, after he had told her to prepare some hot water and food at noon for me, he left the inn and hadn’t come back.

“Do you want me to bring you lunch?” She suddenly said. “You could sit at the bar and I will bring you the menu.”

“Then please…” I just nodded at her and sat down at the bar.

After she brought me a bowl of soup, bread, and a glass of juice, she told me that she would change the sheets in my room and told me to remind Zed to pay her later. I just nodded at her with a blushing face.

After finishing my food, I went back to my room and looked at the fresh new sheet. Remembering what we did last night again, I couldn’t help but to think about him, ‘Where is he right now?’

Not knowing what to do, my gaze wandered to the bag beside the bed. Thinking about the diary and the feather pen inside, I thought to myself, ‘Should I write about last night?’

Clack

“I am back Sakura…” I could hear Zed’s voice together with the sound of the door opened.

DRUAK

“Hmm? What are you doing?”

“N-n-n-n-nothing!” I had accidentally knocked down the chair when hiding the diary behind my back. “Y-y-you surprised me!”

“Sorry?” ( O _ O) ??

I could feel his gaze focusing on the thing behind me. “A-a-anyway, where have you been?”

“Eh…? Hmmm… just here and there…”

‘Hm? That sounds somewhat suspicious…’ I glared at him. “Here and there?”

He just giggled and walked towards me. “I will tell you later, okay?” He hugged me and said, “Have you eaten yet? Do you want to see the festival with me?”

I was surprised that he suddenly hugged me. I could feel my face heating up again, so I hid my face on his chest and answered, “Yes I have… Do you want me to?”

“Of course,” he answered. Then he suddenly gave me a peck on the lips.

‘T-t-this pervert!!’

THWACK

“N-n-no perverted things before night!!!!” I hit his head with the Holy Bat.

“Eeeeh? So it’s okay if it is night?” he asked me while squatting down and rubbing his head.

“T-t-that’s! N-n-n-no! I mean! Z-z-zed is pervert!!!” I swung my Holy Bat again. “Don’t run!”

“Stop! Stop! I-it’s my fault! I am sorry?!” He was rolling around on the floor, trying to avoid my Holy Bat.

I was so embarrassed that tears started trying to come out. I stopped trying to hit the cockroach like Zed and went to the bed. He was so annoying that I just ignored him and hid under the quilt. “Zed is a big stupid pervert…”

“Hahaha…” I heard him giggling and felt very annoyed.

“…”

“Sakura?”

“…”

“Sakura? Are you angry?”

“…” I kept ignoring him.

“Sakura… don’t be angry… okay? I am sorry…”

“…”

“I promise I won’t hug or kiss you again without asking you…”

“…” I felt annoyed at Zed. “It’s not like I don’t like it… and I actually hate hitting you… but yesterday was my first time doing that… so please don’t tease me like that… I-I am embarrassed, you know?”

“…” I could feel his hand stroking my head through the quilt. “Sakura is so cute…”

“I told you, stop teasing me!!!” ( > A < )!!

He just giggled and said, “But yesterday was my first time too, you know?”

“… Lie…” I still felt a little annoyed. ‘How could it be? He seemed so experienced yesterday… N-n-not like I know how experienced people do it, though… But he must have done it with many girls before…’

“Eeeeeh? Sakura is really the first and only girl I ever touched, you know?”

“Hmph… Really?” Why should I believe him?

“Fine then… Which finger should I cut no-“

I hurriedly threw the quilt away and threw myself at him. I hugged his body tightly and begged him to stop, “NO! NO! DON’T!!”

He giggled and patted my head again. “I am just kidding”

I remembered the time he cut his two fingers. Honestly, it was still traumatizing. “Don’t ever joke about it again… or I will really hate you…”

“I am sorry…”

“…” I felt so annoyed. I knew that he was someone who would really cut his fingers for me, and he knew that I would never not trust him when he did that. But why would he value himself so lightly like that. ‘Is a finger really that cheap compared to my trust?’

I looked at his face. He was still smiling stupidly seeing me hugging him. ‘So annoying…’

“Hm? What is it Sakura?”

“I love you, okay? So don’t do something stupid like cutting yourself for me ever again…”

“I love you too…”

I realized that he actually hadn’t said that he wouldn’t cut himself for me ever again. “I want something sweet…”

“Sweet?”

“The festival… let’s go?”

While we were eating snacks from the festival under a giant statue in the city’s Main Plaza, Zed told me that the festival today was dedicated for the Hero Tooru.

The giant statue was made resembling him. Zed said that it would be burned at midnight, to wish him peace in his rest. He told me that the Hero wasn’t actually dead though, but just went back to his own world, Earth.

“So he also came from Earth?” I asked Zed.

“You know Earth?” He asked me back while holding a round sweet bread covered in chocolate in front of my mouth.

munch munch… I was from there too” I nodded and said. ‘My hands are full with other snacks, okay? It is not like I want him to feed me like a couple.’

“Oooh? I never really listened to him when he told the girls the story about his world. What was it again, Tokyo or Kyoto? He said that he lived there.”

“The girls?” I glared at him. ‘See…? He actually knew lots of girls… and I even trusted him…’

“Yes, the other Heroes… After killing the Demon Emperor, they all followed Tooru back to the other world.”

“Oh…” I could see that Zed seemed a little sad when saying that. I felt a bit jealous. “I-I won’t go back, you know?”

He wiped the chocolate on my lips with his finger and licked it. “I won’t let you go back even if you want to.”

I blushed, “…okay…”

He then told me the story about his adventure with the other Heroes, when they first met, when they defeated the demons, and many others. It was so interesting that I didn’t realize that the sun was almost setting.

“It’s almost time,” Zed suddenly said while looking at the sky.

“Hm? Time for what?” I asked him.

“Come… We have somewhere to go.” He stood up and took my hand.

“Eh? Okay?”

I followed him to a store on the Noble’s District. The Noble’s District and the Adventurer’s District was separated by the Main Plaza, so it only took 5 minutes walk from the place where we sat around earlier.

The store seemed to be a kind of boutique for high end customers. The dresses on the mannequins were really beautiful and seemed to be really expensive.

When we went inside, two store assistants came to me and dragged me to the room at the side of the store. The room was filled with various colorful dresses.

They dragged me to the front of the mirrors and stripped me, leaving me with only my camisole and panties. “Kyaah?!”

They just giggled and started to bring me various dresses, putting them in front of my body, while seeing the reflection on the mirror, and whispering to each other.

In the end, they decided on a black dress with long sleeves and a pair of flat black shoes. They also did my hair and make up, styling them to make me look a bit more mature.

When they were done, I was surprised to see myself in the mirror. I really looked more adult, like a 20 years old university girl. ‘I should learn how to do make up, so he won’t dare tease me anymore…’

When I went out of the room, Zed was already waiting for me. He looked so dashing, tall, and gallant, wearing a high-collared white shirt, black trouser, black scarf, and a long black coat. He also styled his hair to the back, just leaving a few strand of his hair hanging in front of his forehead.

“You look really beautiful Sakura…” His voice awoke me from my daze.

“…” I felt my face redden under his intense gaze. “Thank you. You also look really dashing…”

“Really? It has been really long since I wear clothes this complicated though…” He walked closer to me and offered me his arm. “Well then… Shall we?”

“Un…” I nodded and circled my arm onto his. “Where are we going, though?”

“You will see…” He just smiled and walked forward.

When we exited the store, a horse-drawn carriage was already waiting outside for us. The street was almost empty as the sun was already set and most people of the city was at the Main Plaza, celebrating the festival.

We drove for 10 minutes before stopping in front of an expensive 3 storied building near the Royal’s District.

After the driver opened the door, Zed went out and helped me get down from the carriage. I thanked the driver as we passed him by.

Zed and I then walked together to the building entrance. As we neared the door, it was then opened by a man dressed really neatly in a white tuxedo. It seemed like the building was actually a high class restaurant. I could see few people dining on the wide lounge of the building. They were dressed fancily and seemed to be the nobles of the Kingdom.

We walked to a small table on the back of the lounge, with a big window showing a nightscape of a lake and a castle. The restaurant lighting was a bit dim and romantic, with faint music in the background and a small aromatic candle burning slowly on the table.

Zed pulled the chair for me and asked me to sit down. After I had seated myself, he then pushed the chair for me and proceeded to sat across. He looked very dashing and proper, unlike his usual easygoing conduct.

“What’s the occasion? I somehow felt like a princess tonight…” I jokingly said to Zed.

“Well, I used to be a prince, so that should also make you a princess,” he smilingly said.

“Eh? You haven’t told me about that…” I was surprised.

“It wasn’t that interesting.”

“Won’t you tell me?” I wanted to know more about Zed.

“Sure…”

Then as the food came one by one, we ate together while I listened to the story about his childhood, about his father, his three mothers, his two sisters, his low talent for magic, and his training days.

But after that, he suddenly paused…

I put the last bit of the chocolate cake into my mouth and asked him, “Then what happened? Did you go with the Hero after that?” I was so curious because he was cliffhanging me with the story. “And why didn’t you go home after killing the Demon Emperor? Don’t you miss your family? Why did you become an Adventurer?”

“My family…” He was smiling, but his eyes were not. I could somehow feel his sadness. “Yes, I miss them…”

I knew by then that I had asked something I shouldn’t have. “Zed… I am sorry… Are you okay?”

He held my hand on top of the table and squeezed it softly. “You don’t have to apologize… I am okay…”

I squeezed his hand back and looked at him worryingly.

“Sakura…” He whispered my name slowly and stared straight into my eyes. His smile slowly disappeared as his face turned serious. It was a little red as he had drunk a glass of wine, but I could see that his eyes were sober and sharp. “I know that it hasn’t been long since you came to this world…

“I was the first person you have met in this world…

“And I might have taken advantage of that to get your heart…

“I don’t regret having done that…

“There might be better person destined for you in this world…

“But I swear that my desire to love and protect you are true…

“If anything makes you sad, I will destroy them for you…

“If you desire the world, I will conquer it for you…

“If anyone wants to take you from me, I will kill them…”

From his words, I could feel his burning desire to possess me…

To have me…

With any costs…

Even if it means the destruction of this world…

If I wanted it, he would do it…

I stared straight into his eyes. ‘Is this his form of love? It is somehow twisted… but pure… I don’t hate it…’

He slowly stood up and walked a few steps to stand on my side. He then kneeled on one foot and said, “Sakura, I no longer have any family left in this world…

“They are gone…

“But I have avenged them…

“So I have nothing left to do in this world…

“I was just a empty shell…

“Wandering the world…

“Then you came to my life…

“And I fell for you…

“You gave me a purpose again…

“I love you Sakura…

“So will you be my purpose of existence forever?”

He brought out a small black box and opened it in front of me. Inside was a pair of golden rings with similar shape but different sizes, a small one for me, and a big one for him. It was a pair of wedding rings.

He looked straight at me and asked, “Will you marry me and be my family?”

“…”

My head was in a mess…

There was so much information coming inside my brain in such a short time…

So…

He told me about his love for me…

He told me he would do anything for me…

He told me his family was gone…

He told me he had avenged them…

He told me to be his reason for existence…

He told me to marry him…

He told me to be his family…

And he showed me a pair of golden rings…

‘Wait? Isn’t this a proposal? A marriage proposal? But didn’t he tell me he will propose in a year? Why so sudden? What happened? Why? How?’

I could only stare at him with eyes wide open, head in a mess, not knowing what to think or say.

Until…

He started to lower his head, looking a bit dejected…

“Wait! Wait! Wait! Zedediah!” I hurriedly grabbed his cheeks with both of my hands, forcing him to look straight into my face. “Of course I will marry you! But let me put my head around what you had said for a bit, you suddenly said a lot of things, you know?!”

I collected my thought again and prepared the words I wanted to say to him…

“Zedediah, it’s true that you might have stolen my heart because you were the first person I met in this world…

“But it was also because your sincerity that I fell in love with you…

“I was a stranger to you…

“But you still helped me…

“You protected me…

“You sacrificed yourself for me…”

I could see the love in his eyes…

“Like you said…

“There might be a person destined for me in this world…

“But there would be no one better than you…

“I love only you Zedediah…

“If anything makes you sad, I can’t destroy them for you, but I will be there to ease your pain…

“If you desire the world, I can’t conquer it for you, but I will give you all of me instead…

“If anyone wants to take you from me, I can’t kill them, but I can kill myself so I will be in your heart forever…”

I caressed his cheek and lowered my head to kiss his forehead…

“As you will be my only family in this world…

“I will also be your only family in this world…”

I smiled at him and he smiled back at me…

“I don’t know how it is done… Will you put the ring for me?”

“Gladly…”

He took out the small ring from the box and put it on my left ring finger…

Then I took out the other ring and similarly put it on his left ring finger…

“Then from now on… until death took us apart… I will be your wife…” I said to him.

He caressed my cheek with his left hand and I could feel the cold feeling of his ring on my warm skin. “Even after death took us apart… If you still want me… I will be your husband…”

I grabbed his left hand with my own left hand and leaned the weight of my head against his hand. “That will be lovely…”

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AN: Sorry for the late post! My toothache is killing me, and due to Covid-19, I can’t even go to dentist… The pain is literally killing me… ( TT _ TT )

2 thoughts on “Book 2 Chapter 3 – Black Dress

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