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Ortansia glanced sideways, watching Gerard swiftly review documents with incredible speed.

They were currently alone in the room.

"Um, Onii-sama."


Summoning courage, Ortansia spoke, and Gerard promptly replied. Looking at his face, she hesitated, fearing that what she was about to say might trouble him.


‘Probably, if I don't ask now, I'll never have the chance.’

‘It has to be now’. Ortansia couldn't shake off that feeling.

She took a deep breath and bravely began.

"Um, Onii-sama... about what Lucian, the demon God said..."

Gerard remained silent, attentively listening to Ortansia's words. What she was about to say might jeopardize their relationship.

Perhaps she was attempting to open a lid that should remain closed.

That thought crossed her mind, but Ortansia still wanted to know.

"...I'll ask you honestly. Onii-sama, do you remember what happened before time rewound?”

Gerard's eyes widened in an unusual display of surprise in response to Ortansia's words

If Gerard had no inkling of what she was talking about, he might be regarding Ortansia with bewilderment, thinking she had suddenly started saying something absurd.

As Ortansia feared that there might be no substantial response, she began to regret her decision, thinking she might need to somehow deflect the situation.

"...I don't remember everything. However, there are memories surfacing within me that I don't recognize. Surely, that must be what you and Lucian referred to as memories from past life," Gerard said.

Upon hearing those words, Ortansia's heart pounded loudly. Gerard set aside the stack of documents he was holding and gazed straight at Ortansia.

“I only witnessed you crying out for help, unable to do anything," he continued, and Ortansia tried to respond, but words failed her. Her throat felt tight, as if on the verge of tears. The cold words Gerard had thrown at her back then still echoed in her ears.

Observing Ortansia's state, Gerard murmured “That was indeed true.”

"Things are different now, everything has changed, so... so..."

What could she possibly say? Ortansia deeply regretted asking so rashly.

"I'm sorry, Onii-sama. I don't mean to blame you. I just had to know," she apologized.

Perhaps she wanted to put an end to the hazy feelings within her. However, she had no intention of blaming or resenting Gerard.

"I'm sorry, please forget about it..

However, she had no intention of blaming or resenting Gerard; that wasn't her aim, even as she sought clarity in her emotions.

‘I'm sorry, forget it”

"No, there's no way I can forget."

Sensing Gerard rising from his chair, Ortansia tensed. She couldn't bring herself to lift her gaze, afraid of what expression her brother might have.

A brief silence hung between them.

The silence was broken by Gerard's voice and warmth.

"I'm sorry."

As he whispered those words at close range, he held her tightly. It was both comforting for Ortansia and seemed like Gerard himself was clinging to something.

"Over and over, I dreamt of you dying. I thought it was just a nightmare... no, maybe I tried to convince myself it was."


Ortansia knew that Gerard had occasionally struggled with lack of sleep. She had attributed it to fatigue and stress, but perhaps he had been enduring something else all along.

"Even when I wanted to help you, my body wouldn't move. Instead, I threw hurtful words at you, abandoned you... If I could go back to that time, I'd want to be the first one to kill myself."

"Onii-sama, it's okay now, it's okay..."

Ortansia desperately hugged Gerard back. There had been painful moments, sorrowful times. Yet, Ortansia and Gerard were here together now.

‘It's okay, right?’

Ortansia gently spoke to her inner self, directed towards the version of herself who should be there, her past self who had come home with her.

"Being able to stay like this with Onii-sama... that's enough for me."


"Then, promise me. From now on, always stay by my side."

Uttering these words with a hint of dependence, Gerard blinked in surprise.

"Are you satisfied with that?”

"Yes. So, Onii-sama, please stop blaming yourself. It's a request from your dear little sister."

Pleading in this manner, Gerard hesitated for a moment, then quietly nodded.


Still, as Ortansia observed Gerard, his expression tinged with bitterness, she sighed inwardly.

‘Even if I make such a request, Onii-sama will probably still be concerned.’

Gerard had a fundamentally serious nature. Asking him not to worry was likely an impossible request.

...Perhaps she shouldn't have brought up this topic. It would be a lie to say she had no regrets.

Yet, even so... Ortansia felt that she did the right thing by sharing this with him. She couldn't help but think that without addressing the past issues openly, she and Gerard wouldn't truly understand each other

‘Fun times, sad times, painful times... we'll share everything’

Sharing love and pain, Ortansia and Gerard gently cuddled together in quiet companionship.


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