Early morning.

" You've cut your hair even shorter now? It looks good on you, Lesa."

" ... Thank you for coming by, Wille."

She was stretching, doing warm-ups, already changed into the heavy formal clothes she was to wear.

" Just wanted to see if you were nervous."

" I'm always nervous. That's a fundamental part of me."

" Hmmm, is it really? That seems like an inconvenient way to live."

She laughed a little.

" Yeah, it's horrible."

A pause.

" Wille, I'm really glad that you rescued me," she said. " I was going to rot away there."

" I'm sure you would've found some way out," he replied. " I did."

" Will you save Nova too?"

This was an unexpected question.

" Eh? What do you mean?"

" After this, regardless of how it turns out, I'll be able to move forward, and live for myself, the way I want to. But Nova's never been able to do that, I think, in all the time I've known him. You're the only person I've seen make him happy."

... An uncomfortable, restrictive feeling in his throat.

" Do you really think so...?"

" Yes. Of course."

" ... You have gotten stronger, Lesa."