The next day, Eugene woke up to the brightness of the morning sun.
‘It’s been years since something like this had happened’, he thought, furrowing his brow as he opened his eyes.
‘What is this place…?’’
As his hazy vision became clear, Eugene realized that the ceiling and interior were different from his own room. He slowly recalled his actions from the previous day.
‘Yesterday, I was working on my research, and then…’
He remembered writing down a passage with magic, but he seemed to have no memory beyond that.
Moving his gaze to the left, it stopped there.
“Why is she…”
There, he saw Mabel sleeping.
She was gracefully sleeping in a chair, and for some reason, she was still holding Eugene’s hand. Upon realizing this, Eugene’s thought process was momentarily blown away.
Perhaps noticing the slight movement, Mabel woke up as her hand traveled along Eugene’s.
As soon as Mabel made eye contact with Eugene, she grabbed both of his hands in surprise.
“A-Are you okay?”
“…What is this situation?”
“You collapsed in your room yesterday.”
Upon hearing that response, Eugene closed his eyes and sighed.
“It’s nothing new. Don’t make a big deal out of it.”
“Is it always like this? Do you collapse like this every time?!”
“If I faint a little, I wake up in the morning.”
Mabel wore an expression of disbelief upon learning that Eugene would forget about sleep and meals while absorbed in his research, causing him to collapse each time. But with a slightly reproachful tone, she reached out her hand to touch Eugene’s forehead.
“Well, I’m glad you’re feeling better. Hmm, your fever has also gone down.”
But the moment Mabel’s hand touched his forehead, Eugene’s eyes widened.
The sensation of her touch against his bare skin. No way.
“Hey! Where is my mask?!”
“Uh, it’s, it’s right here.”
In response to his sudden stern tone, Mabel picked up the mask that was placed on the side desk. Eugene snatched it from her as if tearing it away and immediately put it on his face. He then yelled at Mabel.
“You, did you see my face?!”
Seeing Eugene’s reaction, Mabel seemed perplexed about how to answer.
“I-I’m sorry, I thought it would be better to wipe off the sweat.”
“That’s why! Did you see my face?”
“I-I did…but, um, it was a really beautiful face, that’s all.”
Eugene was at a loss for words on how to respond, and Mabel glanced at him, trying to catch a glimpse of his expression. But unable to bear the silence any longer, Mabel desperately continued speaking.
“I-I’m sorry, um…”
“―Are you sane?”
Upon hearing Eugene’s words, Mabel let out a “Huh?” in response.
“Is your head okay?”
“You don’t have to go that far, I was just trying my best.”
“No, I mean, are you not in love with me? That’s what I meant.”
Right after Eugene said that Mabel furrowed her brows deeply and genuinely tilted her head, saying, “What?”