Flying around looked easy, but it required more mana and control than you would think. Not to mention, we had to enter a dungeon again after a week. It was worrisome to see Sevi refining his magic when there wasn’t much time left to rest. The boy sat on the hallway window and laughed awkwardly. “I’m not used to resting, see…”
“It was just half a year. People would assume you spend your life in dungeons.” I reached out to give a slight pinch on Sevi’s cheek.
“But hearing about going to face a dragon makes me nervous and stuff… Oh, but I know that I won’t be able to do much. My role’s just to observe and learn. Still…” Sevi smiled shyly, his green hair scattered by the blowing breeze. He looked to the sky and murmured as if to himself, “It’s so nice feeling the wind like this. It was too suffocating in the dungeons.”
“I suppose it’s too confined in there for a wind mage.”
Most dungeons took the form of caves. Although some resembled cliffs or fortresses, they were generally all closed structures. Wind mages preferred freedom and couldn’t bear to stay in one place for a long time. They were particularly unable to endure being in such dungeons. This happened to be the reason why there were few wind mages in expedition corps’.
I decided to let Sevi do as he wished. “Alright. You do what you’re comfortable with. Then again, I guess resting is about doing what makes you relaxed. Let me know whenever if you’re having a hard time.”
“But Vice-captain, you’ll leave me out of the raid if I dither.”
“Oh, how perceptive.” I giggled at the sight of the boy pouting. Maybe that was why although he always grumbled, he never expressed reluctance to enter dungeons. “Do you want to go in dungeons that bad?”
“It’s not just any dungeons. It’s the dungeons you take me to.” I could almost see blind faith in the way Sevi gazed at me. His glassy eyes like that of a wind spirit reflected my figure. “I’ll definitely become stronger by trusting in you, Vice-captain, so I’ll do whatever you tell me to.”
Faced with the boy’s pure trust and the desire to grow stronger, I gave a slight smile and stroked Sevi’s hair. He gave himself to my touch for a while, then suddenly asked, “By the way. When do you rest, Vice-captain?”
“Me?” I blinked dumbly at the abrupt question.
He continued worriedly, “You’ve kept on working even after coming out of the dungeons.”
“Is that right?”
I tried to recall the schedule I followed after returning from the dungeons. Meanwhile, Sevi said firmly, “After we went to the measuring hall, you went to meet the captain, then made schedules for the dragon raid and shared it with us. Then, after that, you’ve been working the entire time.”
Come to think of it, I didn’t get to rest. But with the tight schedule, there was no time for that. I shrugged nonchalantly. “Gotta keep working until we defeat the demon lord.”
“You could end up dying from overworking! You’re not even healthy as it is.”
I wondered if he was joking, but Sevi appeared genuinely concerned about my health. I waved a hand in bewilderment. “…Unhealthy? Me? No. I’m fine.”
“But you were tired so often back in the dungeons too.”
“That’s because the raids were really hard! You were tired too!”
“But still…” Sevi faltered, seeming unconvinced. As a mage, the boy’s physique was similar to mine, so why in the world was he having this misunderstanding? This was all Mayer’s fault. Calling in August every day and treating me like glass… It ended up brainwashing the young Sevi into worrying about my health. Clicking my tongue, I insisted, “I don’t know what you’re misunderstanding, but I’m well. This much work is nothing so worry about yourself. And make sure to take proper sleep. I’m all grown up, but you’re not, Sevi. Right?”
“…Argh. B-but you never know when the demon lord will appear. If you keep working until then, you’ll die of exhaustion,” Sevi retorted stubbornly. I could understand where he was coming from. 15 years had already passed since the dungeon gates opened. Those who didn’t know the future were bound to feel hopeless anxiety, not knowing how much longer this situation would continue.
“Well… You won’t have to wait for many years.”
“Really?” Sevi asked, his tone glad. I thought he would dismiss my claim as a joke. It was surprising to see him so completely trusting.
“You believe me?”
“I’ll believe whatever you’d say, Vice-captain.” Sevi cast a resolute gaze at me and the sincerity in his eyes rendered me speechless for a moment. Suddenly, he raised his head. Seeming to have heard some sound carried by the wind, the boy gazed at the forest near the entrance of Nochtentoria Castle. “Someone is coming.”
“No one should be visiting today… Is it someone we know?”
“No. But they’re strong.”
I frowned at that. Even in dungeons, Sevi could grasp the approach of fellspawn with perfect accuracy. He had to be right on this. A stranger visiting… Who could it be? I decided to report to Mayer first and parted with Sevi, hurrying my footsteps.