ISY – 28

As the deputy director left, the remaining researcher beckoned to me.

Without a word with me, we walked towards the Z-Class area.

“I can’t believe you got to talk to the deputy chief. Lucky.”

I shuddered at the researcher’s remarks, as if he was somehow envious. I got slapped on the cheek and threatened—and somehow I’m lucky?

“Anyway, what can you do with an A-level?”

He talked to himself and guided me. The road was familiar.

“Here.”

“What?”

“Put it on your cheek. Because you have a wound.”

I took the long tape he handed to me, peeled off the sticker on the back, and put it on my cheek.

Then we walked again.

Then I remembered that remark, maybe it’s a problem for the researcher if I ‘break’.

– beep

“Ah… .”

It looked like it was Kalisten. He was looking this way as if reacting to the sound, but his condition was strange.

I turned to the researcher in surprise, he sighed and explained:

“He has to sleep for the medicine to work, but he can’t sleep.”

“Ugh… .”

He lay on the floor, clutching his heart as if he was in a lot of pain.

“They say he listens to you.”

“Oh… .”

Maybe they fed him some truth-telling serum and found out about me and our agreement.

“Take care of him yourself. If you do as the deputy chief said, you may be pardoned and sent out.”

I didn’t think I would do well. But I didn’t have a choice. As an A-grade I can be discarded at any time. I must have been brought because Kalisten spoke of me.

“If you don’t have confidence, go back.”

“Ugh… .”

Kalisten looked like he was in a lot of pain. If he’s in so much agony it’s no wonder he can’t go to sleep.

“Sleeping pills?”

“He took enough to put an elephant asleep.”

“The painkillers—?”

“It takes effect when you sleep. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s specialized for hormones that come out when you sleep. Does that make sense?”

“Ah… .”

Leaving behind the researcher who took a deep breath, I approached Kalisten. Black hair was clinging to his face soaked with cold sweat.

“I’ll come pick you up tomorrow.”

– beep

Watching the door close, I laid Kalisten’s on my lap. He was not wearing anything other than the restraints on his neck, fortunately.

I stroked his hair off his face. He looked at me with blazing eyes.

“Kal, it’s me. Aselia.”

Then, as if he was responding to my voice, the pace and sound of his breathing began to calm down little by little.

Tears fell as he blinked. It was clear that it was painful enough to cause his eyes to water. I reminded myself that he awakens in about 10 days.

Maybe that’s why the experiments were so rough now.

There may have been a sign of awakening, or Esper who could see the future may have foretold of his awakening. In general, in such cases, the researchers pushed forward and relentlessly conducted experiments in order to advance an awakening. It was why there were so many broken Espers.

“I’m so sorry… .”

“… .”

“Is it because I told you to listen?”

He seemed to be someone who was completely ignorant of relationships and people. Seeing that he acted as if he didn’t like me but listened so well, maybe he really craved human connection and missed people but didn’t know how to go about it?

Kalisten in the original was a person I couldn’t understand at all.

But the Kalisten in front of me was not like that.

Is this really going to run rampant in 10 days and kill everyone here?

His bright, glowing, red eyes were full of water. Maybe it was because he looked like he was in so much pain or the guilt I felt towards him but I started to cry too.

“I’m so sorry… I shouldn’t have said that… .”

I took a deep breath, hugging his head on my lap, and held his hand so I could calm myself down.

“Ugh… .”

Then, Kalisten twisted his body and the strap of my necklace around his neck was untied.

“Ah… .”

In an instant, my long hair fell down, and he was staring at it with a hazy stare. I reached out to pick up my necklace, and he grabbed my outstretched hand.

“Aselia.”

“Kal… .”

He got up and pressed my shoulder. I heard wind as I was pushed back and I closed my eyes tightly expecting to feel pain, but there was nothing.

I opened my eyes slowly, feeling the sound of stable breathing, and Kalisten was looking down at me with an expressionless stare.

“Touch me.”

“Huh?”

“Touch me, Aselia.”

He stroked his cheek with my hand, as if pleading. The temperature of his cheeks touching my fingertips was very high. It was clear that he had a fever, but the temperature seemed to have calmed down a little compared to before.

“More.”

Then he hugged my neck. Then his body crumbled and he buried his face in my chest.

Kalisten’s large heartbeat hit my stomach and pounded loudly. I patted his back in hopes that he could settle down.

Then I stroked his hair. It felt good to see his black hair slipping through my fingertips. I thought maybe his hair was softer than my hair, and reflexively smiled as he stared at me.

Then he spoke his mind with an even face:

“I want to bite you.”

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