For a moment, I stared at him. He must’ve been playing with bubbles, so there was no way he was wearing his usual clothes. Instead, he was dressed in a simple shirt and pants, but he didn’t seem to have any intention of covering himself up.
As I subtly sent bubbles towards him using my ability, Diello’s laughter brought even more joy to the moment. Still, in the water…
Was it okay for him to stay for a long time?
“Are you okay with water?”
Argenta people shouldn’t have enjoyed being in so much water. However, Diello nodded lightly with a carefree expression.
“Of course. Regardless of whether Argenta dislikes water, it is the essence of life.”
He scooped up water in one hand and let it trickle through his fingers.
The sound of water droplets falling echoed clearly. Well, how could they wash if they didn’t want to get wet?
“Still, I heard that you don’t particularly enjoy water.”
Considering all the trouble he went through to block the Endless Sea, it seemed likely. Diello didn’t deny my words.
“That’s true, but this place seems to be different.”
His smile was radiant, making the swimming pool feel like a resort beach under the bright sun. Approaching a little closer, he gently grabbed the foam wall I had been playing with and then placed the foam on my shoulder.
A mischievous laughter was heard from him.
“Well, I needed some practice, too.”
What kind of practice was needed at this point?
At my words, Diello let out a soft laugh. Then he spoke smoothly.
“During the reunion, Elin Cartiel asked a question. Do you remember?”
He looked at me, and I nodded.
“She asked how we fell in love.”
“Yes, you said that we fell in love near the water.”
Diello said softly before he looked back at me.
“It was natural.”
He smiled as I waited for him to continue.
“But if I had been asked that question, I wouldn’t have been able to answer properly. So…”
He leaned closer to me, his eyes narrowed, and the ripples he created touched me. The ripples, which felt even more stimulating because I was in the water, ran through my body.
“I want to create real memories. Moments when I saw you as lovely, remember them and be able to talk about them.”
I opened my eyes wide.
And in that moment, my mind became chaotic.
The water steps I was stepping on scattered, and I plunged down.
Water covered my vision.
In a situation where there was nothing to hold onto, I suddenly felt scared.
“Are you scared? You won’t die from being submerged in this much water.”
Suddenly, a clear voice echoed in my head. I recognized the voice, but it was a voice buried in my memories, not Krua’s voice.
“Surely you won’t go around telling people that you almost drowned in the children’s pool, right?”
The voices that were laughing passed through my mind.
This was a memory from before my possession.
It felt like I couldn’t breathe.
Suddenly, a strong hand firmly grabbed mine. It was different from the memory where I struggled until I lost consciousness in the water.
I realized that fact clearly.
I could get out of the water.
I could escape.
It was an instinctive moment when I tried to move the water again—
It seemed like Diello moved at the same time. In the next moment, he was already holding me tightly. His strong arms touched my back and legs.
As soon as I emerged from the water, I gasped for breath. Amidst my rough breathing, Diello’s calm voice rang out.
“Are you okay?”
I didn’t realize when I started trembling.
I only noticed that after Diello lightly embraced me. Water droplets flowing down his sharp jawline touched me. Perhaps because I was clinging to his thin shirt, his body temperature felt distinctly warm.
I let out a short sigh, and Diello looked at me with a slightly surprised expression, leading me forward. As he naturally separated the water, he brought me to a shallower area.
“…It seems like you’re not familiar with swimming.”
He must have figured that out in that brief moment that I could control water, but I couldn’t swim.
“…Since the water guides me, there’s no need to learn how to swim.”
To be precise, I didn’t have time to learn to swim after the possession and before the possession… I didn’t have the luxury to learn to swim. That was how it was for me.
Before I could finish my sentence, Diello lightly chuckled.
And he didn’t ask any more questions, which was fortunate.
I glanced at him and spoke, “I thought you would dislike water, but it seems like you have been practicing swimming a lot, huh?”
His movements in the water were certainly natural.
Diello responded lightly to my words.
“It would be difficult for someone who protects the endless sea to not be able to swim.”
…Well, it wouldn’t be good if he got into a fight and ended up floundering in the water. He has had many naval battles, after all.
“Not only that, but if I want to stay with you, I need to become more proficient.”
I gazed at Diello in surprise at his sudden remark.
In an instant, his face came closer.
He blew out a breath, creating a foam that I didn’t even know existed, which tickled my ear. The foam floated up and burst in the air.
He chuckled softly.
“Since you’re someone who controls water, I should adapt to this watery environment.”
Our gazes met. Me, who could control water but couldn’t swim, and him, who controlled fire, the opposite of water but could swim well.
My cheeks turned slightly red for a moment.
“The foam is more persistent than I thought.”
He gently removed the foam that had landed on my hair and said so.
We both burst into laughter at the same time.
* * *
We played in the water, just like when we were young, for a long time. However, I failed miserably in my swimming practice. Perhaps it was because memories from before my possession became vividly clear.
When I completely submerged myself in the water, I couldn’t regain my composure in the darkness.
“If it’s too hard, you don’t have to practice, Krua.”
Diello gently said to me.
“I will end up falling into the water and unable to do anything. If a situation arises where I fall into the water and can’t do anything, that would be equivalent to the worst-case scenario.”
“There shouldn’t be such a situation. No, it won’t happen.”
In response to his words, I eventually gave up on swimming. Instead, I focused on practicing manipulating water.
“Understanding the flow of water even without abilities will be helpful in training.”
He advised me like that, so I decided to practice here often.
“Are you okay?”
I nodded in response to his question.
I had already expelled the poison long ago, and I had been in the water for so long, it was only natural.
‘It would be great if Argenta could create such an environment. Not just a hot place, but a place where fire can easily ignite.’
I moved the water to create a large wolf and then scattered it. It was the wolf I had seen when I tried to save Nira.
“It seems like amplification of power occurs in places with abundant origins.”
Seeing the water shape return to its original form, Diello turned to look at me.
“I heard it from someone, but Cartiel found it using the same method.”
“If that’s the case…”
Diello widened his eyes at my words.
“Yes, we might be able to create a favorable battlefield for Alors and Cartiel using the same method.”
Until the unawakened head awakened, Argenta was looking for ways to use their abilities more efficiently. If my words were true, it would be a real breakthrough for Argenta’s forces.
“Although we need to investigate if most ability users are like that… Ah.”
I remembered something as I was about to say that I couldn’t ask Alors about it.
An Alors is here on this land, too, right?
“I’ll ask Nira about it.”
Although I said I would ask, I already knew.
The more abundant the origin of my attribute, the stronger I became. Setting aside the fact that it was a setting clearly written in the original, I myself was a witness to it. I clearly remembered how my confidence and power overflowed in front of the vast ocean.
“We should approach cautiously, but if it’s true…”
Diello’s face lit up with joy.
It was only natural since Argenta’s forces would have such a boost.
“It would be great if it’s true.”
While wiping away the foam on his cheek, I said.
“I don’t know if you’ve made enough memories.”
Diello widened his eyes as if to ask what I meant.
“Next time, when Elin asks you how you fell in love, will you be able to tell her?”
Diello burst into laughter at my words.
And then, he kissed my knee as I sat at the edge of the pool.
Thanks to his movement in the water, I once again felt a gentle wave touch the tip of my toes.
“How I fell for you, I can definitely say that.”
The moist breath that touched my wet knee sent a strange sensation through me. It was only later that I realized that when he touched the water containing my magic power, he felt pain.