ISY – 39

– Beep.

When I looked back at the ruthlessly closed door, I felt Kalisten approaching.

“Kal.”

There was something off about Kalisten’s expression. He was staring at me blankly. Although he approached me like he would kill me earlier, he now seems a little softer.

“Kal, are you okay?”

He came closer and stood still.

The magic emanating from him was so hot. If I touched him right now, he would burn me.

His bright red eyes were directed at me, but the sight was surreal because they resembled flames and fireworks.

“Kalisten.”

It was hot, but I still reached out. Then he drew near very slowly. It felt as if I was reaching out to a beast, but the beast seemed calmer than I expected.

“Kalisten?”

Although that was the case, it felt like there was no higher intellect. On the other hand, the expression on his face was not threatening; perhaps he was fond of me.

“Are you sick? Did you take drugs again? Stimulants?”

He didn’t come closer than a certain amount, so I decided to approach him. Then he stepped back as many steps as I had taken towards him. So we were still two steps apart.

“It’s the truth telling serum right?”

Looking at his expression, it didn’t seem that he was only given an awakening inducer. He was dazed, and absent-minded and tried to come to his senses, but it didn’t seem easy.

Stimulants and hallucinogens.

Maybe they even give him sleeping pills to put him to sleep in case of an emergency.

But it was strange that he didn’t recognize me. And he was keeping mum.

“Kalisten.”

“Aselia.”

“Yeah, that’s me.”

His focus was somewhere strange. It was clear he was looking at me, but he seemed to be looking through me.

“Kalisten, have you taken any hallucinogens?”

“… …”

“So do I look different?”

Scrutinizing his face, it seemed like my guess was right. However, it seemed fortunate that his hearing abilities didn’t seem to be distorted.

“It’s me, Aselia. Kalisten, I’m here because I am worried about you.”

“Lies.”

“Really. I’m telling you the truth.”

As my voice trembled, I approached him again. Again, he stepped back.

“Then why… .”

Kalisten’s expression looked confused.

“Why do you smell of another man’s magic?”

“Huh?”

“It’s the first time I’ve ever smelled such an unpleasant odor.”

“Ah…”

I guess the smell of Alexis’ magic stuck onto me. He said that the closer you get to awakening, the better you can sense magic. I’ve heard that there are times when you can perceive it through smell.

“I-I’m helping other Z-classed espers train… .”

I couldn’t say it was because we slept together in Alexis’s bed.

But as I approached faster than he staggered away, he stiffened on the spot. So I took his hand and said,

“It’s me. Can’t you feel my body temperature?”

Kalisten’s hands were scalding. The body temperature was as hot as 50 degrees Celsius. It felt like I would get burned if I held on to him for a long time, but I deliberately didn’t let go.

“How do I know you are Aselia?”

“Alright, then.”

He was about to let go of his guard. The moment I let go of his hand.

“Didn’t you say you couldn’t believe me?”

He took my hand again.

“Don’t let go.”

“I just let you go for a second. You want to know who I really am.”

Then he let go of my hand. I looked around. The room was a mess because there was blood all over the place.

“Ah.”

Fortunately, though, the shelf was broken, leaving a few pieces of glass scattered about. I grabbed the sharpest piece among them.

“Ugh… !”

“What are you doing?”

I tried to cut my palm.

“Are you crazy?”

“But—blood— you need to smell blood to know.”

But I couldn’t because of his restraint. The problem was that the way he was holding me was very unstable.

“Kal, wait a minute… ! Shit!”

The blood that was on the floor had not yet solidified. So it was very slippery.

-Thud!

“Argh!”

As I sat on his body, he fell over the broken glass.

“Kal! Are you alright?”

The glass scattered on the floor was very dangerous because the bulletproof glass was not broken. Of course, I was worried because he fell on it.

“Kal!”

I probed his body, trying to make sure there were no injuries. Fortunately, there were no new blood stains on his clothes. But there was already so much blood that I couldn’t tell if my judgment was accurate.

The moment I was about to quickly open his clothes to check—

“What are you doing?”

“I think you’re hurt, I have to check!”

Then he blinked, his eyes grew wide as if he came to his senses, and  grabbed my hand.

“Don’t.”

“Uh? But your injury… .”

“Aselia.”

Because his clear, lucid gaze had returned.

“Alright.”

“Aselia… that’s right.”

His eyes softened. But there was a corner of him that was still pointed as if he was hallucinating, but he seemed to be consciously calming down.

“What do I look like? It’s a hallucination, right?”

“… Yes.”

His gaze was dazed, then his eyes became sober again.

“But it feels good when you touch me. Aselia is right.”

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