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Her persistence. Her helplessness. Her stubbornness. How can he actually phrase how this woman broke down the walls he had long put up, and pieced her way right into his world? No reasonable person would have believed her, that she’s Amadeus. It’d be a joke to them. Look at her stats. All he sees is a low-leveled player, an unfortunate product of bad luck.

She’s a terribly selfish and reckless girl, if only she could get out of his way, so he can… So she won’t…

Things would be so much easier, if she wasn’t like this.

“Radius-san?”

Things would have been so much easier, if he hadn’t learned her name, if he hadn’t run into her offline. Her business wasn’t supposed to be his, but the second time he met her in Arcadia, he had to get his sword back. From there, it spiraled out of control and he… couldn’t get her off his mind.

I’ve met her again, and again.

“I’ve already told you, don’t call me that here.” This is a battle he’s lost before he had a chance to fight, he realizes, and he continues, “It’s Rei. Aijou Rei”

“Right, I’m sorry… Ai-Aijou-san…”

“Stop apologizing so much.” You don’t need to.

Rei would sound better, though, he realizes, also but small steps, on that end.

Another day goes by, and a few more. He desires to see her more and more. He’s calmer, more at ease, when she’s there, and worried when she’s not. Considering how spacey she can be, it’s not wonder his chest jumps when she suddenly disappears. But it’s alright, she reassures him. There’s nowhere I want to go, but where you are.

He’s getting greedy, certainly.

Really, he didn’t want to tie her to him. Awful, a murderer, a coward, he ran from those he considered his comrades. Yet, she’s the kind of girl who’d smile on the brink of death, right in front of him? As if she’s ready to die, for him? Why is she like that? How can she be like that, in a world where the only reason he kept fighting was because he…

Cautiously, she reaches out, pulling at his sleeve, as though she’s the one that’s attached to him, as though he’s the only person on her mind. No, it couldn’t be. She’s too worried about the others, to even think that. She’s found her friend, the one she’s claimed no more relationship other than childhood friends with, but she’s come back here, to Rei instead.

I feel like I speak to you more than I do him.

She really does scare him, being like she is. I thought a smile would ease your pain. With statements like that, she’s completely unraveled and revealed the weaknesses he harbors. If only I was by your side then, too.

A girl thrown into a dangerous world, still going out there and doing her best. She’s simple, she laughs at the littlest things, and then her worries end up painted on her face in a snap. Her concern comes outs for the first person on her mind, and goodness did Rei find quickly that he hoped she had come to see him, that she…

Aijou Rei, an idol. Hanamiya Kazuha, a normal high school student.

The man who allowed himself to be different from his idol persona in a game, and the girl that saw past everything. A divine blade blessed by God may not be off, considering she managed to slash through what others, simply, couldn’t. A pure heart who finds the him he really is ‘cool,’ who isn’t blinded by his fame, who doesn’t get mad when reality isn’t fair to her… and when he teases her.

She just pouts and forgives him.

Her hand touches his, and he reflexively grabs it. Perhaps telling her to do as she’d like was too much, but he can’t take it back now. Not like Rei wants to anyhow. When Kazuha notices he’s looking at her, she turns her head away.

“No, look at me.”

“Umm…”

“If you don’t face me, I’ll kiss you.”

“R-Rei-san!” Embarrassed, but certainly not angry, she looks back up at him.

He can’t help but laugh, “Gotcha again.”

“…You’re right though. It’d be a waste not to look. Since… we’re together.” It’s almost as if she’s saying that she wants her world to be him.

“You can’t just say these sort of things, Kazuha.”

The smile that forms on her lips is vibrant.

No matter what, he doesn’t want to be apart, either.

He wonders if she thinks that he’s selfish too.

Rei’s just so happy to be with her, this strong girl who allows him to be him, so happy that his heart can barely take it. It’s true – World V’s Amadeus is definitely going to be the one to land the fatal blow on him, not through malice, but through affection.

A blow, right to the core of his soul.