The sky, which had been stained black, was gradually becoming brighter.
While waiting for the day to fully break, Dimitri and I leaned against each other’s backs for a while. Physically and mentally exhausted, just as I had anticipated, I ended up falling asleep with my head against his shoulder.
When I opened my eyes, I was lying in my bedroom as if everything from the previous night had all been a dream. I gazed up at the ceiling decor in a daze for a moment, trying to understand the situation before jumping to my feet.
Just before getting out of bed, I noticed her sleeping beside me.
“Oh, Sasha… you haven’t woken up yet.”
I watched her chest rise and fall and put my finger in front of her nose, feeling a little relieved.
‘When did we come back?’
It seemed that Dimitri had picked me up and carried me.
As I thought that, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t woken up until we descended from the mountains and returned to the mansion in the carriage. It was truly embarrassing.
Quickly combing my disheveled hair with my hand, I headed straight to his bedroom next door.
“Dimitri, it’s me.”
When I knocked, Dimitri, who seemed to have just showered, opened the door, looking freshly washed and damp. In a shirt with unbuttoned buttons and a loosely draped tie over his shoulder, he seemed taken aback by my sudden visit.
“Are you awake, Rowaine?”
“I’m sorry for falling asleep like that, and for coming here so early.”
Dimitri glanced briefly out the window.
“I don’t think it’s that early, but well, please come in.”
As I glanced around, I realized that the sun was setting since the sky was slightly darker than the midday sky.
‘…I must have slept really well.’
Still, I hadn’t just come in to apologize for falling asleep. I asked Dimitri impatiently, sitting on the sofa outside the bedroom.
“What happened to the demon that appeared to me yesterday?”
“It seems like, as he described it, he’d made some deals with other cats about Rowaine. Could it be that the cats I used to keep were actually shapeshifters?”
That was impossible.
‘There are no shapeshifters on Earth, Dimitri.’
While I thought to myself and shook my head, Dimitri also kept tilting his head as if it was his first time seeing something like this.
“There was divine intervention… four cats… Oh, come to think of it.”
As he muttered to himself, he gazed at me as if he remembered something.
“I’ve seen those cats before.”
“In a dream, obviously.”
“What are you saying? Please tell me in detail. Are you sure they were the same cats Agaliaept showed us?”
“The first day he was here, he had a dream where he saw a dark-haired woman he’d never seen before and four cats, and now that I think about it, I think those cats seem to be the same ones the demon showed us.”
I felt uneasy at the mention of the black-haired woman.
Why would the cats appear in his dream? Could it just be a mistaken resemblance to cats with similar fur colors?
However, Dimitri’s following words were unusual.
“The cats kept nibbling on a leaf that had a very pleasant scent on the woman’s lap.”
“The leaves fragrance coming from Rowaine’s body right now. Then, they spoke to me.”
“I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, as it was just a dream, so I can’t remember it precisely. But they said something about granting the woman’s wish. Now that I think about it, it seems like she was Rowaine.”
I asked, pretending not to hear his muttering, “But why did you have black hair?”
“A wish? Didn’t Agaliaept also mention something like that yesterday?”
Could it be that the appearance of myself in the previous life and the cats I used to care for in a past life appeared in his dream? Then, why did it specifically appear in his dream?
I was very perplexed.
“Divine intervention… What could Rowiane’s wish be that even the gods would intervene? World peace? Enforcing justice? Or perhaps, do you want to become a hero?”
Dimitri, with a very intrigued expression, muttered to himself for a moment and then asked me.
I shook my head.
“I don’t know either. I just… I only wish for the cats I care for not to be in pain and to live happily with them for a long time. I don’t really have any wishes…”
As I uttered those words, I suddenly remembered the healing ability I had. It wasn’t in the original Rowaine, but it was a power that I gained when I possessed her.
This ability was undoubtedly mine.
‘I used to think about how great it would be if I had healing powers when cats were sick. Were they really… were those cats really repaying me back?”
Seeing my absent expression, he nodded as if he could guess my thoughts.
Then, he chuckled as though he couldn’t believe it.
“To think you could move a god with such a wish. Who are you, really… Rowaine, are you crying?”
I hastily wiped away the tears that had welled up in my eyes as I answered.
“Just… for some reason, I feel overwhelmed and grateful.”
But eventually, I couldn’t hold back anymore and buried my face in my hands.
“What did I even do? I haven’t done much for them at all, so why are they doing this for me…”
Tears poured down my face without stopping.
Dimitri silently comforted me by patting my back. I didn’t even think about how my tear-streaked face might look, and I clung tightly to his sleeve, burying myself in him.
“Can you tell me more? How was it? In the dream, did those cats seem to be in pain? Did they look sick? Did they say they can’t come back to me?”
He let out a soft sigh and wiped the corner of my eye.
“I feel so foolish for misunderstanding you in the past as a shapeshifter hater. Those cats looked healthy. They seemed peaceful, and they just seemed to wish for Rowaine’s happiness.”
I burst into tears again as I listened to him. As I cried out loudly like a child, Dimitri comforted me for a long time.
After calming down a bit, I asked him calmly.
“But why did they appear in Dimitri’s dream?”
“Maybe to ask for me to take good care of Rowaine?”
I burst into laughter.
“You’re saying they found a trustworthy cat captain and entrusted me with him?”
If that were true, it was such an adorable, cat-like idea. In the meanwhile, Dimitri swept his hair back proudly in response to my words.
“I can’t believe you said that with your own mouth like that…”
He raised an eyebrow. Seeing his cheeky expression, I just smiled warmly in response.
“…I really do find you trustworthy. Yes, you’re reliable.”
˚ ･: * ✧ * :･ ˚
At Dimitri’s suggestion, I washed my face lightly in the bathroom and returned to the sofa. In the meantime, it seemed that he had brought an old-looking book and was reading it.
“What are you doing, Dimitri?”
“It’s a book about demons left by my teacher. I remember there was some information about Agaliaept around here…”
He must have read quite a lot of the book since it was well-worn page by page. Without even checking the table of contents, he quickly found the page with the information he was looking for.
“Here it is.”
I leaned towards him and looked at the book.
The book had a rough sketch of Agaliaept, the one we had seen, and a brief description underneath.
I read it out loud.
“A high-ranking demon. Possesses the power to uncover mysterious things…? What does mysterious mean, Dimitri?”
“He’s a strategist, to be precise, a guide for demons. He can provide directions to help Rowaine find the path you desire.”
“The path I desire…?”
“If you’ve been connected to Agaliaept through the cats all this time, Rowaine might have unknowingly been using his power without you knowing. Haven’t you noticed anything strange during this time, like seeing demons?”
I raised an eyebrow. I had no idea at all.
“Let’s try talking to Agaliaept directly. Can we summon him?”
“What am I supposed to do?”
“Impose your command on him while thinking of the demon.”
“A command? Into the empty air?”
It was too vague. Despite that, I did as I was told and shouted into empty air while summoning Agaliaept as instructed.
I couldn’t figure out what it meant even as I shouted it out.
‘I tried to shout into the air without realizing it…’
Out of embarrassment, I glanced at Dimitri to see him bending over the table, laughing.
“Why, why are you laughing?!”
“Haha… I’ve never seen someone give commands to a demon like that before.”
I pursed my lips and grumbled.
“You told me to do it freely. So, um, then what should I do? Show me an example since what I did didn’t work.”
Then, Dimitri adjusted his posture and gave me a look as if to say, ‘Watch closely.’ He put on a very solemn expression and then shouted into the empty air.
“…You have to get hit. You need to get hit like this! Ugh, how annoying!”
Dimitri, who was teasing me, was so irritating that I got up from my seat and started hitting him. However, before I realized it, behind him, Samael appeared. After receiving a few hits from me, he grabbed both of my wrists and pulled me towards him.
As a result, I lost my balance and ended up sitting on his lap.
Unlike me, who was flustered, Dimitri casually gestured behind me with a calm expression.
“Rowaine, take a look at that.”
I turned my head to see what he was pointing at as both my wrists were still held by him. Agaliaept appeared, slightly smaller than at dawn.
“Let, let go of me.”
I quickly removed Dimitri’s hand and stood up from his lap. As soon as I sat back down on the sofa properly, I blurted out in embarrassment.
“What was I supposed to ask him?”
While my face was flushed with heat, he was very relaxed and smiling mischievously.
“Ask him what he can do for you, Rowaine.”
I asked the demon as he told me. Though strangely, Agaliaept, who had been so talkative just yesterday, didn’t seem to open his mouth today.