When I woke up, it was to a room in darkness.
There wasn’t a single inkling in my mind of how long I’d been asleep.
Yet when I looked over to the side, I saw Leo-sama; in his sleep, he had nearly slumped over on my bed. Since even on a normal day of work I usually had quite a lot of things to attend to, I began to feel a mix of emotions – that feeling of wanting to leisurely rest in my own room, and the happiness that came from being able to spend time together with him.
I shifted about quietly as I moved, but despite my efforts, Leo-sama woke up.
“Haruto! You woke up. Thank god.”
He embraced me within his strong arms and spoke, his words gentle.
“I’m sorry for having caused you such worry. Yet I hope you can forgive me, now that I’ve woken up.”
“Yeah. Of course I will. Just please, spare me, and keep yourself from doing anything as crazy as that in the future. My heart can’t take it.”
After saying that, he stroked my head and turned the light on in the room. With that, I was then able to see that the color of my hair had returned to its original black color, catching me off guard. Even though we’d been getting along so naturally just moments ago, once he found out about this, I doubted whether I would be able to continue being able to live by Leo-sama’s side. Even though this was the one thing that I’d kept hidden from him the entire time, why…
“Leo-sama, I’m sorry. My hair – it’s this color. And my eyes, too.”
I said that while turning my face down. I was afraid of how he would react, and I couldn’t bear to look at any part of Leo-sama.
“I heard the story from Alexei-sama after I had invited him here for your treatment. I’m sorry that you felt you had to worry over this for so long. But, you know, once you’ve actually taken a good look at it, it really is a beautiful color.”
This reaction was something completely unexpected, and I had no idea how to respond.
“You don’t think that it’s frightening?”
“I heard that it may be that way in other countries, but in Caspar, it has a relatively positive image. For you see, one of the founders, the first Prime Minister of this country, was someone whose hair was this color, as well.”
Ahh, that’s right. There were various cultures whose founders I had thought were possibly Japanese, but I had never been able to confirm whether they had black hair and black eyes.
“Since we have such a rare opportunity, let’s use it so that you can live with your natural color. It would only cause mayhem if we told the truth, so let’s say that the change in your hair and eye colors was caused by your illness.”
If I knew that he would’ve accepted this so easily, it would’ve been better if I’d told him about it from the start.
“Is this really okay? To leave it like that.”
“It’s fine. More importantly, do you remember the promise we made before the ceremony? I want to fulfill it.”
I’d made him wait for this for so long.
“Then in any case, sleep well for tonight. As soon as I’ve finished tomorrow’s government affairs, I’ll call for you.”
As he spoke this gently, he enveloped me in the blankets.
And then, just when I was about to fall asleep once more, I had a moment of full consciousness where I had the thought that I was glad that I was here, in this world, for at some point, it had become the place where I felt most at home.