“Mana doesn’t know anything about the outside. Mano is good so I can trust Mano to protect me!” She says looking at me with a resolute face
She clearly doesn’t question whether I will take her or not at all.
“Listen I don’t mind but…” I say as I try to organize my thoughts
As much as the clown annoys me, even I find it a bit cruel to just take his only living family away. Then again, by the sound of it, that’s not an option. It seems like if I deny her here she will simply go on a journey of her own alone. If she does, she will certainly run into trouble. Will she be much safer traveling with me though? I’m the Maou, a ticking time-bomb waiting to cause trouble for all those around me. Won’t she be in even more danger if I allow her to travel with us?
“You won’t?” She asks, looking up at me a tearing up
“Guh!” I let out in surprise
I must stay strong! I can’t let that face control me forever!
“Are you sure you want to go? There will be a lot of danger no matter who you travel with.” I plead
“Like monsters and bad guys?” She asks, tilting her head
“As well as lots of other things. The world is full of all kinds of danger.” I explain
I’m doing my best to keep my personal biases out of this, but it’s hard not to considering how similar our situations are.
“…Okay. Mana understands.” She responds with a nod after a short moment of silence
Does this mean that she’s changed her mind?
“So then you’ll-” I start
“Yup! Mana wants to go anyways!” She finishes
I’m not going to win this one, am I?
“What about ‘Teko’? Won’t he be quite upset that you’re leaving? He will be all alone here without you right?” I ask
Not that I feel an incredible amount of sympathy for this lolicon clown, but I would still have to be evil to take Mana away from him like this.
“Teko’s a meany! Mana doesn’t care!” She says puffing up her cheeks and looking away
“We are going to be gone for a looooong time, and he will be reeeeally upset you know?” I say teasing her slightly
Maybe she will change her mind because of how much she cares about that worthless clown.
sniff sniff “He won’t hate me right?” She asks with her cheeks still puffed but with tears beginning to form
“…I don’t think he would. He seems to love you quite a bit. That’s why I don’t think it’s fair to him for you to just leave like this.” I explain
Somehow it pisses me off to have to say good things about him.
“Mano?” Mana asks with a troubled look and tears still in her eyes
“Yes?” I respond in a soft voice
“Will you stay with me for the night? I want to think… but I’m scared to be alone.” She asks, tugging on my shirt
“About that… Where did ‘Teko’ go? You told him to go away and he suddenly went silent.” I ask
Is he just heartbroken over Mana being angry with him?
“Teko has to listen to Mana. Daddy told him to. Mana doesn’t like to tell Teko what to do… but Teko is a meany!” She explains looking at the ground with a hint of regret in her eyes.
Isn’t that a bit odd? The person who made this dungeon supposedly made both of them right? Why would he create a small girl and give her control over the guardian? Also, what’s up with this room? It looks like the room of a pampered rich girl. What’s the story behind Mana?
“Mano?” She asks, again looking at me worriedly
“Oh, sorry I zoned out for a moment. I suppose one night couldn’t hurt. Just let me tell my friends real quick.” I respond
Will the com-stones work down here? I imagine we are probably pretty deep right now, it seems a bit too important to keep towards the surface. I was receiving a bit of interference earlier as well. It’s worth a shot anyways.
“Hello? Can you hear me?” I ask pressing the button to connect to Kera’s com-stone
“Princess? That you? Where are you? About 10 minutes after you left everybody returned to the first floor looking for you. The imps are all freaking out saying you were kidnapped.” Kera responds in an excited tone
It’s amazingly clear. I don’t even think the reception was this good when we were outside.
“Something like that… Listen, return to town. I’m going to be a while. I’ll call you in the morning to let you know that I’m alright.” I explain as I fight off Mana who is tugging on my shirt
“What?! You’re staying overnight? Where are you? Are you still in the dungeon?” Kera questions
After considering it for a while, I just decide to cut the call. It will be a pain to explain everything now. I’m sure they will manage.
“Maaano~ Do you know any games?” Mana asks as she tugs on my shirt
“Games? I only know a few, is that alright?” I ask
Most of the games that I know of require some kind of set up, like boards or pieces. Though given how much this room looks like a modern one, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were videogames.
“Yup! Teach me one!” She says completely elated
“Okay, have you ever heard of rock paper scissors?” I ask smiling myself
“Nope! Is it hard?” She asks, tilting her head
“It goes like this…”
Several hours pass and Mana is still enjoying playing rock paper scissors with me. It seems that the concept of a game that she could play with somebody else directly is still new to her. She hasn’t stopped smiling once since I explained it.
As we were playing I hear a small clicking sound, and with it, the light dims considerably.
“Bed time!” Mana cheers as she jumps into the bed.
She happily pats the space next to her to prompt me to crawl into the bed with her. I suppose I won’t get the opportunity to sleep in a comfortable bed like this again for a while. I should enjoy it while I can.
When I crawl into the bed Mana latches onto me tightly, cuddling me. I’m surprised at first, but it feels quite nice so I don’t stop her.
Suuuuhuuhuu saaa suuuuhuuhuu
What’s that weird noise? She’s already asleep?! That’s quite a talent. Though I suppose she has the right idea. I should go ahead and get some sleep too.
Light suddenly fills the room, contrasting with the darkness and blinding me.
Don’t I recognize this pattern?
“We need to talk.”
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