“You holding my hand like this reminds me of… my parents.”
Seemingly surprised by the girl’s answer, Lazer murmured. Although she could not see his facial expression, she could feel that he did not know what to do.
“Let’s not hold hands then,” he moved his body and tried to break free from her grip.
“That is not what I meant!” She grabbed his hand tightly, not allowing it to slip away. “I thought I would not miss them anymore. After all, I did not have any recollection of them… But you being gentle to me is so rare and so… that is why I… ”
“I am here to train you, not to be gentle to you,” he interrupted her coldly.
“… I know.”
She was forced to let go of his hand. She did not complain about what he had just said. In fact, she felt relieved.
In his eyes, this was not the look that a young child should have. This caused him to raise his eyebrows under his mask. Both No. 3 and Diana were too mature for their age.
That was irritating.
“Aren’t your feet sore?” asked Lazer softly.
Without waiting for the girl to respond, he bent down to pick her up so that she would be lying on his chest. She let out a short cry of surprise and shrank stiffly in his arms, looking flabbergasted.
“We are still a long way from home, do not strain yourself,” he said in a low-pitched voice, coming from a place incredibly close to her. “Also, real parents do not hold their children’s hands, they pick them up like this.”
“Really?” She gulped, wondering if he had been held up by his parents when he was little.
“Yes, especially when the children do not behave and sneak out of the house.”
“Think about it. In this posture, it is very easy to take children where you want to take them or to punish them…”
“Teacher, you are playing with me again! That is not what I miss about my parents. Put me down!” She raised her tail and screamed, beating him on the back.
He laughed softly in the breeze.
She was attracted by his rare jovial laugh. She wanted to look up to see his facial expression but did not want to let go of his heartwarming embrace. The emptiness in her heart was filled just a little, to a point that it actually tingled.
—If I continue to survive, will I be able to experience more of this?
She lowered her eyes, reveling in his awkward gentleness. She could not help but smile.
So long as both of them felt the same, all would be well in the world.