" 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."
" 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."