Only With Your Heart - 4

Calling - 1

Mai ended up falling asleep on the mattress after a while, and so Chizuru lay down next to her and stared through the darkness at the small light bulb in the ceiling.
The small two-room apartment appeared faintly in her vision.
There was her bed, and while the room looked modern, there was a small table that doubled as a kotatsu. She had a tv and refrigerator as well. A calendar hung on the wall. All of these things were a part of her daily life.
And yet, before she knew what was happening, all of these things began to feel foreign to her. Especially on nights like these, where memories of Lukrov would return to her.

In that other world, the culture was something that would be called medieval back here.
There was no electricity, no cars, no running water, and of course no methods of transmitting information such as television or the internet. The only thing they had was animal hide that was used like paper to write on. And many people could not even read.
As was common in the western world during the middle ages, there was rank and class and knighthood. Lukrov himself had originated as the heir of a baron. War had made an orphan of him, and he had made himself a knight who could stand alone.
And so when she had first met him, she saw a youth with eyes so sharp and a face so severe, that just touching him seemed like it would cut your skin.
His hair was jet black, as were his eyes. His facial features were angular and while he had the overall appearance of a western man, his skin was quite tanned. His height… How tall had he been? She did not even know if they had units for measuring a person’s height there. But she thought that it must be close to 185 cm. A head taller the Chizuru.
Thinking back now, she did not know his birthday, his blood type…
It made her realize just how full of information the modern world she lived in was. Things were much more primitive in the other world. When people loved each other, having each others' bodies was enough. There was no ritual dating.
Lukrov had accepted her, and she had shown him what she was capable of.
A thrill had run through their core like electricity...and it was the beginning of everything. She doubted that Lukrov had ever considered watching her from afar, or worried about being rejected.
“You are the one I chose.”
With those words alone, he swore eternal love. Like a wolf who has found his mate.
And yet, there was comfort in the way he loved. Without shame or dishonor, an unending desire led by his soul and his instincts… That kind of love.
She was sure that in this world, at least in modern Japan, that being loved in that way and loving in turn, was not possible. The very way that people lived was too different. It was as obvious as anything.

The sky was covered in a dark cloud on the following day. Mai had checked the weather report on her phone before leaving and said that there would be strong rain from the afternoon on.
Chizuru put on a beige cardigan and a modest black skirt and white shirt before heading out to work, a little later than usual. Employees were allowed to dress casually. It was an open environment where men did not have to wear suits during the summer, but Chizuru did not pay as much attention to fashion as the other women who worked here.
She felt that as long as you did not stray too far from what was current and kept yourself clean, then that was enough. She also felt no need to attract the opposite sex, and so she did the bare minimum in terms of makeup.
And yet men like Karasawa, her superior, would still appear now and again.
She was not always aware of it, but Chizuru did have the kind of pretty face that drew more attention than most. Her height was not too short and not too tall. Her body was slender and yet full where it mattered. To put it plainly, she was on the popular side.
Chizuru made sure that the fold-up umbrella was inside of her bag as she rushed into her companies building. But just as she passed the automatic doors at the entrance, she felt a sudden sense of vertigo.
(...What?) PAGE 2


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