The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 49
Seeing the familiar face, Herietta smiled broadly.
“Since when have you been there? If you were there, you should’ve called me.”
“I didn’t want to disturb your singing.”
Edwin straightened his back and walked over to her.
“Is the Lance in the song Lance Elliot perhaps? The one who unified the South Continent in the past?”
“Yes. I know it’s a song about a time when he lost his memory for a while after being injured.”
Herietta nodded and answered. She tapped her hand on the ground, beckoning Edwin to sit next to her. He obediently followed.
“Did you like the song?”
Herietta asked. Edwin tilted his head to the side as if he were thinking. Then he said,
“Lance Elliott was such a great man that he was considered one of the greatest conquerors of all time. Naturally, many poems and songs were created to commemorate his achievements.”
“… So are you saying that you like it or do you not like it?”
She tilted her head in response to the elusive answer. He smiled.
“I like it.”
Then he added,
“But even if it wasn’t the song Miss Herietta sang, I would’ve probably have liked it.”
Herietta did not immediately understand the meaning of Edwin’s words. Even if it wasn’t that song, he would have liked it?
She blinked and then started to laugh. Because, in a nutshell, it meant that he would have liked anything she had sung. She lay flat on the grass with her arms laid out to the sides.
“It’s not that surprising. It’s hard to say things like this to others, but I’m very good at singing.”
Herietta boasted and puffed her chest up like a peacock.
“Many people have said that my singing voice is as beautiful as a nightingale or something.”
“Ah, it sounds like you’re only good at singing, then.”
“I beg your pardon!”
Herietta, who was furious at Edwin’s playful remark, raised her chin and looked up at him.
The sun was beating down on his head. He sat with his body leaning loosely back, with one leg bent and the other straight.
His fine hair fluttered softly in the wind. Overall, it looked kind of languid. Like a beast lazing around, or an adventurer returning from a long journey. His appearance blended very well with the landscape around him now.
Sensing the gaze from Herietta, Edwin turned his head to look at her. Her bright eyes locked into Edwin’s blue eyes which seemed to be carrying heavy thoughts. His lips, which made him look a little stubborn, curved upward in a soft curve.
“It’s a joke, Miss Herietta.”
He said in a whisper. As he said so, there was a slight playfulness in his eyes.
Herietta looked at Edwin silently. When was it? When had this man sitting next to her, who was blunt as if he had been cut with a knife, and who was known as being indifferent to those around him, secretly started pranking her like this?
Herietta thought she wanted to get closer to Edwin than she ever did.
“Why aren’t you lying down?”
“I feel much more comfortable sitting like this than lying down.”
“Is it more comfortable to sit down?”
When Herietta asked, Edwin nodded in agreement. Herietta had a look on her face that said that she couldn’t understand. How can he say that sitting is more comfortable than lying down? He’s not even a pony sleeping standing up.
Herietta let out a long hum. There was a look in her eyes as if she had sensed something. She called him while she was thinking about this and that.
“Edwin, let me borrow your ear for a second.”
“I want you to listen for a moment. I have something to tell you.”
If she has something to say, she just has to say it. There are no people around, so why do I have to lean in? Edwin was skeptical of her request, but he silently complied with her wish. He leaned his body slightly towards her.
He was just about to ask what she was going to say when Herietta stretched out her hand abruptly and grabbed his collar. Then, with a thud, she pulled him towards her with a fairly strong force.
It was a sudden move, and his upper body was leaning at an angle, making it difficult to keep his balance. He fell over her too easily.
Just before his body crushed Herietta’s, Edwin quickly reached out to the sides and touched the ground with his hands. Then he put a strong force on his arms and managed to withstand the weight of his body.
The gap between their faces was less than a cheek. If he had been a little low, then they would have smashed onto each other hard.
“What are you doing!? That’s dangerous!”
Edwin, who barely managed to focus, raised his voice and asked. Then Herietta laughed.
“Why are you so serious? It doesn’t mean you’re going to die just because you’re lying down!”
“You could still get hurt!”
“What do you mean hurt? What kind of elephant are you? How much do you weigh?”
Herietta said, pinching his nose.
“Don’t do that, lie down. Edwin, lie next to me. Look at how pretty the autumn sky is.”
“You’re already half-lying anyway. Hurry up, Edwin.”
Herietta persuaded him gently. Edwin sighed more deeply than she did. It’s so sloppy that it’s not convincing at all, but why does he keep wanting to listen to her? In the end, he lay down next to her just as she asked.
A cool feeling passed through his head and back. There was also the smell of fresh grass and warm earth. Long leaves of grass gently caressed the side of his face and his ears.
“Isn’t the color of the sky really pretty?”
Herietta, who was lying next to him, asked. Edwin looked at the sky that spread out in front of him.
A few white clouds were floating in the blue sky. His eyes narrowed. Although it was a clear day, it was not impressive enough to talk about. To be honest, it didn’t even look that different from the sky he had seen every day.
“Yes, it’s pretty.”
“It doesn’t feel sincere at all.”
Herietta grinned at Edwin’s reckless agreement.
She pointed her finger at a cloud in the sky.
“See that cloud over there? Doesn’t that look like a goat’s head?”
“It’s like horns sticking out of the head.”
Edwin saw the cloud Herietta was pointing at. A goat. He looked for the shape of the animal she was talking about in the shape of a cloud. After a while, he replied with a grin.
“A goat with very short horns.”
“Right? Ah! Doesn’t that look like a teacup? It’s a little squished to the side, though.”
“Is it a teacup with a broken handle?”
“Yes, it is. But it would be difficult to use if the handle was broken… Ah. And there, there! The one at the end.”
For a while, Herietta pointed to this cloud and that cloud and shared her impressions of them. And Edwin, without being annoyed, responded to her patiently. Rather than being annoyed at her, he rather smirked at her absurd expressions.
It was a peaceful day. He and she, and the calm and beautiful scenery that surrounded them.
The tension that had been ingrained in his body for a long time, like a habit, was released. Edwin listened to Herietta’s babbling, but at the same time, he had a different thought.
Has he ever spent such a relaxing time lying on the ground without hesitation? Has he ever been happy while enjoying the beauty that nature has to offer without being bound by anything?
“Look at this tree. It’s a maple tree.”
Herietta said, pointing to the tree that was giving shade over their heads. Edwin’s eyes looked at the shape of the tree.
“The tree in the song was also a maple tree.”
Herietta muttered as she recalled the lyrics of the song she had sung a moment ago. She turned her head to the side and looked at Edwin.
“Edwin, shall we carve a promise on the tree just like Lance Elliot did?”
“Yes. just like the one in the song. A promise that started as a joke was carved into a tree. The promise they make to each other. What do you think?”
Herietta said with an excited face. If he agreed to it, she would jump right in and start writing on the tree. Edwin gave her a subtle expression.
“But Miss Herietta, can you remember where this place is? Isn’t it like making a promise somewhere to check it again in the future?”