Ritsuka still couldn’t say she understood everything she was a part of, even after fighting real servants and escaping the ruined Fuyuki city afterwards. And yet, she agreed to continue to fight as Mash’s master, in order to save humanity’s future. It was crazy.
She also couldn’t say why she wasn’t resting right now, as she was told to. Instead she was standing in front of a door of the room belonging to someone else. Someone with whom she couldn’t even imagine talking… Or at least she couldn’t a few hours earlier. After everything she went through together with Mash and director Olga Marie she no longer found the white haired woman as scary as at the beginning.
“Director?” She spoke, finally gathering the courage to knock on the door. “Miss Olga Marie? Lady Animusphere? The greatest director the Chaldea ever had?”
“I heard you after the first time, stop mocking me, newbie!”
The door opened with a loud thump, revealing an angry face of Olga Marie herself.
“I didn’t intend on mocking you, haha…” Ritsuka laughed awkwardly. “No, really, I know I never think before saying something, but this time I didn’t come here to tease you.”
“Then what do you want?! Blame me for everything that happened?! Remind me that I nearly died today and I’m alive only thanks to you?!” She yelled at her, her face instantly becoming red. “I don’t need that!”
“No, that’s really not what I came here for, actually…”
“Then what do you want?!”
“I just wanted to ask you if you’re okay,” Ritsuka explained finally. “I know this must be harder for you than for me… All I need to do is to fight, while you have to do all the thinking…”
For a moment the director seemed to be taken aback, but then she frowned again.
“Are you stupid!? How can I be okay in a situation like this?! You really-“
“That’s why I came here to ask if I can do anything for you.” Ritsuka tried to smile at her genuinely, but she was kind of afraid that it might just anger her even more. Well, not everyone could have her attitude and just go with the flow. If Olga was like this, they all would be dead by now.
“It’s better to talk to a friend when you’re in trouble.”
“I don’t have any friends,” Olga stated firmly.
“That’s not good, director!” Ritsuka exclaimed, suddenly feeling bad for here. Even more than before. She took the surprised woman’s hands and squeezed it. “You must be lonely, right? Let me be your friend then! I may not be much of a use when it comes to giving advice, but I can at least listen…”
“W-Wh-What!? Know your place, amateur! I have no time for playing games with you…” Olga was still trying to sound confident, but for some reason she didn’t withdraw her hand. Ritsuka took it as a permission to continue her lecture.
“It’s not a game! You heard that Caster guy, right? You’re getting stronger when you have something to protect, and friends’ duty is to protect each other!” She said. “And just like I want to protect Mash, I also want to protect you!”
“Shut up! You’re talking too loud! I don’t want anyone to hear this nonsense!”
Olga’s cheeks became even redder, but this time the cause of this didn’t seem to be anger - she was simply embarrassed. She finally took Ritsuka’s hand herself, but it was only to pull her inside the room and close the door with another thump. Poor door, Ritsuka thought. The director seemed to be slamming them close and open whenever she was using them.
“Why would you? Why would you care about me enough to want to protect me? Isn’t it all my fault that you have to fight now?” She asked, this time less aggressively, making it obvious she was blaming herself. “Don’t you hate me, too? Like everyone else?”
“Of course I don’t hate you.”
Ritsuka slowly raised her hand and placed in on Olga’s head to pet her soft, white hair. It was a strange feeling, she was definitely both older and taller than her, but in this moment she seemed so vulnerable…
“How could I hate you? You’re doing your best, right? You’re doing it for all of us, not for yourself. Even though something went wrong this time, you’re not giving up… Good work, director. I’m glad to be under your orders.”
Olga’s eyes widened at her words and affectionate gesture. She clearly wasn’t used to praises, and she proved it by letting her tears fall from her eyes.
“D-Director?! Did I do something wrong?!”
“N-No… It’s the opposite, but… How can I be happy because of a praise from a mere commoner like you? It’s ridiculous…” She tried to wipe her tears away, but they refused to be stopped. There was also something else she couldn’t stop – a smile that appeared on her face. “Thank you, I guess. But if you tell anyone you saw me crying, you’re fired.”
“Of course. Though I bet Mash would be interested in this.” Ritsuka grinned at her new friend.
“Don’t you dare-“
“I don’t want to get fired. The fate of humanity lies in my hands, so I have to protect my friends, right?” She said, coming up with yet another crazy idea. Without any warning, she pulled Olga into a hug, probably stepping over all the boundaries she could.
“W-WHAT ARE Y-YOU D-D-DOING!?” The director stuttered out, too taken aback to return the embrace or push her away.
“Hugging you. I bet you haven’t received a good hug in a long time, am I right?”
“YOU… Well, you are but LET GO OF ME!”
Ritsuka only squeezed Olga tighter. “No.”
They made a few awkward steps backwards before they both tripped and fell onto the ground, with Olga on top of her. The white-haired woman seemed to be so embarrassed that she couldn’t even utter a word, she just stared at Ritsuka quietly. Well, possibly screaming on the inside.
And what did she do? She decided to go another step further, wrapping her hands around the person she once thought was scary and placed a short kiss on her cheek.
“Do you dislike it?”
“N-not necessarily, but…”
“Then why should I stop?”
“I-I don’t know…”
“Hey, director. Let’s save the world and then take a solid break, okay? Then I’ll show you how fun it is to have friends,” Ritsuka said, pushing a loose strand of Olga’s hair behind her ear. “You deserve it. You’re really doing an amazing job.”
“…you really think so?”
“Yhm. I always say what I think. I’m not smart enough to tell a believable lie, so you have to believe me,” she replied with a grin. Then she changed her position to force Olga to lie on the floor next to her. “Let’s take a nap here.”
“Here?! Why would we?!”
“Weren’t we told to rest?”
“Sleeping on the floor won’t help us, but will only bring us more harm-“
“We’ll see,” Ritsuka muttered, putting her arm around Olga’s waist. “I’m tired, director. I’m sure you’re tired too… Too tired to move…”
“…you’re the one who was fighting the entire time after all.” Olga sighed and placed her free hand on Ritsuka’s hair. “I’ll wake you up in a moment.”
“Sure. Be gentle with that though…”
“Me? Do you really expect me to?”
“No, I’m just teasing.”
“Sleep. Somehow I like you better when you’re quiet.”
“That’s mean, director…”
“It’s my sign of endearment, probably. Good night, Ritsuka.”