Chapter 2 Justina

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Take the girl’s hand and run.
Run, run, run…

That’s exactly what I did, I ran around the city in a circle, and managed to lose the group of men.

“Fu…eh, ohh!?”
“Jiiii.”

The girl was staring at me.
Even though I ran all over the place, she didn’t seem out of breath at all.
I’m a student at the academy, yet I was still a little tired…

“Hey, hey, why did you help me?”

She was a girl who used an unusual pronoun.
[TLN: She used Boku which is normally used by males.]

“Why, you ask… weren’t you in trouble?”
“Yes, yes, very much so. They asked me to go out with them, but I was troubled because they were not attractive at all… yet they kept asking me even after I refused and refused. I could have gotten rid of them by force, but since I’m on a secret trip now, I didn’t want to stand out…”

But…after a pause, the girl continued with her words.

“A lot of people saw me there, but no one helped me.”
“Seriously?”

This city is full of heartless people.

“But you were different. You saved me. Thank you.”

The girl smiled at me.
It was a very beautiful smile.
Just seeing that smile was probably worth the effort of saving her.

“Ah… sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing?”
“I tried to ignore you at first, too.”
“You did?”
“I didn’t want any trouble…”
“But you still helped me, didn’t you?”
“Well, I saw your eyes, so I just had to…”
“Nope, don’t think so.”

The girl looked at me again.
Her face is so close!

“…Yeah, I knew it!”
“What do you mean, you knew it?”
“You have such beautiful eyes. It’s proof of a clear mind. I’m sure that you would have helped me regardless of my eyes.”
“…You’re reading too far into it.”

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That’s what I’d say…
But inwardly, I was delighted.

I felt like the incident with Cedric had affirmed to me that saving the girl was a mistake…
Yet, she was acknowledging me for who I am…
It gave me an indescribably warm feeling.

“Why are you crying?”
“Eh…?”

I ran my hand over my cheek and felt my tears.

“Ah, no, this is… sorry, it’s nothing… ah!”

I was hugged by the girl.
Her breasts were touching me, but strangely, I didn’t feel aroused.
Rather, it made me feel at ease.

“Good boy, good boy… It’s okay. I’m here for you.”
“…This looks like I’m being helped by you even though I was supposed to be the one helping you.”
“It’s okay, I guess. You helped me first, so I’m returning the favor.”
“…Thank you.”
“Mmm, You’re welcome.”

The girl patted me on the head.

“What’s wrong? Did you have a bad day?”
“It’s…”

Strangely enough, I find it easy to talk about my personal issues.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling weak right now, or if it’s because I’m dealing with this girl…
I wasn’t sure why, but I confessed that I was being bullied.

“I see… I’m sorry to hear that. It must have been hard. You did your best.”
“Ugh…”

The girl hugged me again…
Every time she stroked my head, I couldn’t help but cry.

I don’t know what I was doing, being spoiled by the person I had helped…
People passing by on the street looked at me like I was crazy, but I couldn’t stop crying.

“…Sorry. I just need a little more time on your chest.”
“Yeah, any amount will do.”

She stroked me gently and indulged me…
I cried for a little while longer.

 

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Soon after, I was able to settle down…
When I did, I instantly felt embarrassed.

I move away from the girl while blushing.

“Are you okay now?”
“Yeah, I’m good. Ah… thank you.”
“Yeah, you’re welcome. What can I say? I couldn’t leave you alone.”

I showed her a pretty pathetic side of me…
The girl didn’t show any kind of disappointment or anything like that, and her face remained amicable.

“Ah…”

I noticed now that the girl had scraped her elbow.
She probably scraped it somewhere when she was running away from the group of guys trying to pick her up.

“Your elbow, is it okay?”
“Eh? …Ah, this? This is a really minor injury. It’ll heal in no time. You can leave it alone.”
“That’s not how it works, you know. Just stay still.”

Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, since Cedric gets tangled up with me frequently, I made sure to carry a simple healing kit with me to deal with any situation.
I took the girl’s hand and washed the wound with water.

“Mmm.”

It seemed to sting, and the girl shivered.
I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bear with me.

I disinfected it with some medicine, put some medical tape on it, and the procedure was done.

“You’re good to go.”
“Wow… Thank you.”

The girl looked at her elbow over and over again as I finished her treatment…
Then she smiled.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been treated this delicately before.”
“You’re exaggerating. I didn’t do anything extraordinary.”
“But I’m so happy!”

The girl looked somewhat embarrassed, and her cheeks were dyed red.
The way she shyly smiled was so cute.
I couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

“Mmm.”

The girl looked into my face for the third time.

“W-What’s wrong?”

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“I wonder why? I just want to keep looking at your face like this. It makes me nervous, but it also calms me down…”
“Isn’t that a contradiction?”
“I know, I know, right? But, wow… I don’t know how I feel about it myself either!”

The girl looked troubled.
I wanted to help her, but it seemed to be a problem within her mind, and I couldn’t do anything about it.
However, I thought I could at least support her…

Gently, I place her hand in mine.

“Ah…”
“I’ve heard that feeling warmth in your hands can calm you down in many ways… How are you feeling now?”
“…My heart might be pounding harder and harder. Kyaahhh.”
“I failed…”
“But my chest feels so warm. I’ve never had such a warm feeling in my life.”

It’s an unidentified emotion…
The girl did not reject it but rather tried to accept it with a kind face, like a precious treasure.

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic…
She looked like an angel.

“I mean… Oh no!”

The next thing I knew, the sun was starting to set.
There was still some time before curfew, but not much time to spare considering the shopping I still had to do.

“I should probably get going, but… are you going to be okay by yourself after this?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. This area seems to be very safe, so I don’t think anything like what just happened will happen again… I’m strong enough to stand on my own anyways.”
“Haha, then I don’t need to worry.”

She felt safe enough to make a joke out of it.
I had nothing to worry about.

“Okay, I’ll be going.”
“Ah, wait!”

The girl grabbed my hand and held me back.

“Umm…I was wondering if you could tell me your name?”
“My name?”
“Yeah. I want to know more about you.”
“My name is Alto Estenia. As I told you before, I go to the Dragon Knight Academy.”
“Alto…Estenia…”

The girl mumbled my name slowly so that she would remember it properly.

“Alto…Alto…Alto… what’s going on, my heart is pounding and it’s getting stronger and stronger. This feeling, this pounding… I am… ”
“What’s your name?”
“Oh, right. I didn’t tell you. I’m sorry.”

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The girl flicked her tongue out as if she had failed in some way.
It was a childish gesture, but it was oddly appropriate and cute.

“I’m Elt… nope. I’m…I’m Justina!”
“Justina…?”
“Yeah. I’d like you to call me by my first name. Nice to meet you!”
“Yeah, nice to meet you too.”

We smiled at each other and shook hands.

“Well then, this time I’ll be going.”
“Um… will I see you again?”
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say, but if… our fate are crossed, we’ll surely meet again.”
“…Fate…”
“Well, I’m really running out of time. See you later!”
“Ah, see you later.”

After we exchanged farewells and promised to meet again naturally…
I left Justina.

 

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Now that she was alone, Justina looked blankly at Alto as he walked away, her cheeks stained red.
Gently, she put her hand on her chest.
Her heart was still beating rapidly.

“I don’t know what to do… I can’t stop my heart from pounding. And I’m feeling so lonely right now.”

She naturally thought of Alto.

Alto’s voice, Alto’s smile, the warmth of Alto’s hands…
Each of these things stirred Justina’s heart and gave her a gentle yet pleasant stimulation.
When he called her name, she thought her heart was going to explode.

“Alto…Alto…Alto…”

She called his name over and over again…
Then, unexpectedly, she understood.

“I see… this is love.”

Justina smiled softly and happily, and her face was as red as an apple.

On this day, a girl named Justina experienced her first love…
She experienced love at first sight.

 

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