Shall We Date Oz+ Crowlie

posted in: Video Games | 1

First of all, I don’t own any of this, nor did I create any of it. This is the script from the mobile Shall We Date?game, Oz+. As someone who has tried another mobile otome and didn’t love it (mostly due to the lag while loading text), I recommend this one. The doll maker is adorable and the art is very good. The story is packed full of warm fuzzy feelings, very loosely based on the original Wizard of Oz story, haha.

Second of all, I started writing it down because you don’t get many tickets each day and I would forget the story between segments. That being said, I didn’t think of it until I was already on 6.10. I purchased the premium background for 5.11, so I had that in my memories and copied it from there. If anyone has the missing parts and wants to comment with it or send it to me, I’ll update it. Also, I would like to note that this is no replacement for actually playing the game! After rereading what I’ve written, it’s just completely different with the proper sprites and backgrounds.

If you’re looking for a guide without all the extra text, try this one. :3

And lastly, there are obviously spoilers, so read at your own risk! I won’t post any pictures. I want you to experience those yourself. I hate to spoil CGs, but I came to the realization that because you have to spend real money to get the premium CGs, most people aren’t going to have every CG for every character. On that note, I decided to upload my CGs and I will link them as they appear in the story. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Chapter 1: The One I Chose (11/11)

1.1

I turned my face to Crowlie, my heartbeat quickening all the way.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, I’ll choose you.”

Crowlie: “M-Me…?”

Seeming surprised, Crowlie blinked at me.

Leonardo: “What? No way! Why didn’t you pick me?!”

Crowlie: “I’ve been chosen…?”

Heartmann: “What’s wrong, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “Oh, nothing. I’m just…a little surprised…”

Though he seemed to be in complete disbelief at first, he quickly put on a smile and stood in front of me.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, thank you for choosing me!”

He gazed right at me, with eyes a mixture of joy and nervousness.

(I feel a blush coming on, with his eyes like that…)

Oz: “Seriously? You’re picking the Scarecrow?”

Wesley: “Tch. I can’t believe this…”

Toto: “Woof…?”

Solomon floated lightly into the air and made a booming announcement.

Solomon: “And thus the decision is made! Crowlie is to be Dorothy’s beloved!”

(O-Oh… Picking Crowlie means he’s my boyfriend now, right…?)

(But, is it really…all right to pick a boyfriend like this?)

Picking up on my unease, Crowlie smiled gently at me.

1.2

Crowlie: You needn’t worry. I’ll make sure you don’t regret choosing me.”

His words were bursting with confidence, and his eyes were clear as day.

(His eyes are so, so…so serious…)

Wesley: “Really? You won’t let her regret picking you?”

Wesley muttered, seeming none too satisfied.

Wesley: “Awfully confident for a scarecrow.”

Crowlie: “I’m a scarecrow no longer. I am a human, and the ruler of the Emerald City.”

(Oh, that’s right! Oz left the Emerald City to him!)

It happened years ago, so I’d completely forgotten.

Oz: “Say, I remember that. Can’t imagine why I’d appoint a scarecrow king, though…”

Leonardo: “I call for a do over!”

Crowlie: “Why?!”

Leonardo: “Because I didn’t get picked!”

Wesley: “I agree, do over! I’m not familiar with Dorothy, so I’m at a disadvantage. This isn’t fair.”

Crowlie: “Of course you’re not familiar with her!”

Heartmann: “Now, putting aside how hated the Wizard of the West is…”

Wesley: “Don’t put that aside!”

Heartmann: “I truly think we should rethink this decision.”

Crowlie: “You too, Heartmann…?!”

1.3

Heartmann: “Well, it all happened so suddenly, so I don’t think Dorothy had enough time to think.”

Oz: “Now that’s what I’d expect from someone as kindhearted as you. All right, let’s get this do over going.”

(Wait, what?! What’s going on?!)

Leonardo pushed Crowlie away and brought his face right up to mine.

Leonardo: “Dorothy, I’m totally serious! I love you!”

Leonardo threw his arms around me again.

Dorothy: “Aahhh!”

Wesley: “Out of the way, Lion!”

Wesley kicked Leonardo away.

Wesley: “I’m real nice to women I’ve fallen for.”

Wesley said with a smirk.

(Is that what he thinks will…? He’s a little scary…)

Heartmann: “Begone, evildoer. Dorothy, I think should really think things over before choosing again.”

Heartmann pushed Wesley aside and stood in front of me.

Oz: “Out of the way! How about a date on my hot air balloon, Dorothy?”

This time, Oz pushed Heartmann aside and offered his hand to me.

Then, all pushing each other and getting pushed back, the five surrounded me.

1.4

Crowlie: “Dorothy, you can’t go back on your choice! Trust the you that chose me!” AHahahahahaha!

Leonardo: “Dorothy, I love you!”

(What should I do? Oh, help me, Toto!)

I tried to ask him for help, but Toto was positively fascinated by the floating Solomon, trying to jump up to him and paying me absolutely no mind.

Norton, unable to keep watching idly by, spoke up to Solomon.

Norton: “Lord Solomon, what shall we do?”

Looking not troubled in the least, Solomon looked at me with a smile.

Solomon: “Indeed…Dorothy, what would you like to do? Would you like to give the decision more thought?”

(What should I do…?)

The five of them were gazing at me.

Then, the moment Crowlie’s eyes met mine, I remembered what he told me.

(He said he wouldn’t make me regret choosing him…)

When I saw those clear eyes of his when he said that, I felt something, I really did.

(I’ll trust those eyes, those words full of confidence…!)

Dorothy: “I’ll stand by my decision.” (Intimacy +7)

Solomon: “Are you sure?”

Dorothy: “Yes, I want to trust Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “Thank you, Dorothy!”

Heartmann: “If that is your decision, then it’s settled.”

With a small smile, Heartmann patted Crowlie’s shoulder.

Leonardo: “Choice made, huh. Good for you, Crowlie.”

Leonardo was nice enough to smile, too, but Oz and the Wizard of the West wore their disappointed on their faces.

Oz: “Dorothy, you should really rethink this.”

Dorothy: “But…”

Crowlie: “Dorothy has made her decision. You don’t need to complain about it.”

Wesley: “Hmph…!”

Norton: “Alas… Well, it appears that the decision has been made.”

1.5

Solomon smiled a little.

Solomon: “Though I wasn’t about to accept a do-over, even if you thought it over again.”

Dorothy: “Hm? What do you mean?”

Solomon: “We won’t arrive at an answer that will please everyone, no matter how many times you change your mind.”

Solomon: “However, I simply wanted to confirm how you felt, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “How I felt?”

Solomon: “I figured this might work out if you had even a little bit of feelings for Crowlie.”

Dorothy: “E-Excuse me?!”

Norton: “A little sinister, don’t you think, Lord Solomon?”

Solomon: “Hahaha! Well, let’s leave it at that.”

(I feel like he’s dodging the issue…)

Solomon: “To celebrate the fact that you have returned to us, we’re having a ball tonight.”

Dorothy: “A ball?!”

Leonardo: “Now that’s what I like to hear! Looking forward to it!”

Heartmann: “Can you dance, Leonardo? You can’t be used to that human body yet.”

Leonardo: “Hah, I’ll show you how graceful I am on the dance floor with these two legs. Just don’t fall over when you see how well I can move!”

Wesley: “Hmph, what nonsense. Dancing is for dullards and fools.”

Norton: “Everyone here is attending.”

1.6

Wesley: “You’ve got to be kidding…”

Dorothy: “A ball? Oh, I’m looking forward to that!”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, will you be able to dance properly at the ball?”

Dorothy: “My auntie taught me how, but…I’d like you to take the lead, if you can.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Leave it to me.”

Leonardo: “Oh, I wish you’d have picked me…!”

Heartmann: “You mustn’t say that, Leonardo…”

Leonardo and Heartmann exchanged words, both sounding disappointed.

Dorothy: “Then how about we all take turns dancing?”

Leonardo: “Really?! Oh, Dorothy, you’re so nice!”

Heartmann: “Is that all right, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “I’ll think about it.”

Oz: “Real confident, Chosen One.”

Wesley: “Hmph…”

Solomon: “You should start getting ready now, Dorothy.”

(Oh, I can’t go to the ball in these clothes!)

Of course, I hadn’t brought any pretty dresses with me.

(What should I do…?)

1.7

Solomon: “Is something the matter?”

Dorothy: “Well…I hadn’t imagined there would be a ball, so I didn’t bring a dress.”

Oz: “What, the three that went to get you didn’t tell you anything?”

Crowlie: “We didn’t know about the ball, either.”

Leonardo: “It just a dress. We’ll take care of it.”

Heartmann: “How?”

Leonardo: “There’re plenty of stores selling dresses, aren’t there?”

Heartmann: “Are you forgetting that this is to be one of the biggest events in all of Oz?”

Crowlie: “Finding a dress befitting the belle of that ball from now would be quite the task…”

Leonardo: “We’ve got to get one no matter how hard it is! We can’t let Dorothy be embarrassed out there!”

Heartmann: “Good point! Let’s get looking!”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, please give us time. We’ll find you your dress, without fail.”

(Everyone’s so nice!)

Solomon: “Hold on a moment, everyone. Did you know we have a rather large wardrobe in this very palace?”

Crowlie: “What…?”

Heartmann: “Oh, of course!”

Dorothy: “A large wardrobe?”

Solomon: “Indeed, an impossibly, wastefully large one.”

Leonardo: “Would it happen to have dresses, too?”

Solomon: “It should have a few beautiful dresses made by the most masterful of craftsmen, so choose the one you like best.”

Dorothy: “Thank you!”

1.8

Oz: “You guys sure are a pack of fools. Why would a palace not have a wardrobe?”

Wesley: “Panicking without even stopping to notice that… Seriously. Fools.”

Crowlie: “Guh…!”

Leonardo: “All right, who’s the genius who said we were going to go searching for a dress?!”

Heartmann: “It was you, Leonardo!”

Leonardo: “Me?!”

Crowlie: “Yes, you! Have you no shame…?”

Dorothy: “Well, you were all just trying to help me. I’m really happy about that.”

Leonardo: “Well… Yeah, but…”

Crowlie: “I should have thought more calmly…”

Heartmann: “When I thought I could help you, I just went and… Haha!”

Crowlie and the others looked at each other and burst out laughing.

(Thanks, everyone. Oh, this brings me back…)

Wesley: “Tch…what a bore.”

Norton: “Well, allow me to show you to the wardrobe, then.”

Leonardo: “Can we come along, too?”

Dorothy: “Huh? Why?”

1.9

Crowlie: “It may be best for us to help you choose your dress.”

Leonardo: “And I want to see this palace wardrobe thing, too.”

Solomon: “Perhaps you should reconsider.”

Solomon: “The wardrobe, you see, is a room of its own. An impossibly large one, almost a labyrinth.”

Dorothy: “Is it really that big?”

Solomon: “Indeed. Rumors say, too, that some wander into the wardrobe…and never come back out.”

Crowlie: “Wh-What?! Really?!”

Leonardo: “Whoa! Seriously? Sounds like picking out an outfit’ll take some serious courage, then.”

Oz: “Got cold feet?”

Leonardo: “Like I would! You know who I am? I’m the courageous Lion!”

Norton: “My, Lord Solomon…”

Dorothy: “Huh…?”

Norton: “The wardrobe is, indeed, quite large. However, no one has disappeared inside it.”

Dorothy: “That wasn’t true?!”

I looked to Solomon to see him giggling.

Norton: “As great and powerful a wizard as he is, he has a special fondness for humor…and enjoys playing such tricks on everyone so.”

(I think I can see that…)

Yet, I couldn’t hold it against him. Probably because of that carefree smile and those pure eyes of his.

Norton: “Well, I would imagine that a sign of his greatness…”

(Norton really does like Solomon… Or rather he respects him.)

1.10

Heartmann: “Crowlie, Leonardo, you should probably stay behind.”

Leonardo: “You’re not coming, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “Dorothy is going to the wardrobe to change into her dress.”

Heartmann: “It’s rude to be around a lady when she dresses.”

Crowlie: “Oh, good point…I hadn’t given that enough thought.”

Leonardo: “Really? Sheesh. Humans sure are a pain.”

Crowlie: “Well, we’ll be waiting here.”

Dorothy: “I’ll be right back once I change.”

Norton: “Well, let us be off.”

Wesley: “Hold on a minute!”

Wesley stopped us.

Norton: “Do you need something?”

Wesley: “I don’t like this…something doesn’t feel right.”

Norton: “Doesn’t feel right?”

Wesley: “I’m talking about you, Norton.”

Wesley pointed at Norton.

Wesley: “You’re the Wizard of the North, yet here you are, acting like Solomon’s servant!”

Wesley: “What are you plotting?!”

1.11

Norton: “My, my… Are you not aware? We may both be wizards, but my magical power is nothing compared to Lord Solomon’s.”

Wesley: “Well, I can’t agree with having you alone with her!”

Crowlie: “Then who should be the one to take Dorothy to the wardrobe?”

Wesley: “Don’t ask me.”

Solomon: “How about we let Dorothy decide?”

Dorothy: “It’s up to me again?”

Solomon: “Choose who you think you can trust the most. Who will it be?”

(Someone who everyone trusts, and knows where the wardrobe is… Who could that be?)

As I pondered over that, I noticed Toto, still trying to play with Solomon.

(Oh, that’s it!)

Dorothy: “Solomon, could you take me to the wardrobe?” (Intimacy +7)

Solomon: “Oh, you’ve settled on me? A fine choice.”

Crowlie: “Good idea. Everyone trusts Lord Solomon, and he knows where the wardrobe is.”

Heartmann: “The thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Well chosen!”

Leonardo: “Way to go, Dorothy!”

Oz: “Good with that, Wesley?”

Wesley: “Yeah. Sure.”

Norton: “Yet, to impose on Lord Solomon for his guidance…!”

Solomon: “I don’t mind at all. Come, Dorothy.”

Crowlie: I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of dress Dorothy comes back in.”

Heartmann: “She’ll look absolutely stunning when she comes back, I’m sure.”

Leonardo: “Even more beautiful than she is now… wow!”

(Way to pile on the pressure, boys…)

(But I can’t believe I’m about to put on a dress and go to a ball! It’s like a dream come true!)

(And here I am in Oz, a world of dreams!)

(This is why I love Oz so much!)

When I start heading out of the throne room with Solomon, Toto runs after us.

(All right, Toto’s coming with us.)

I turned around to see Crowlie, his eyes so clear, gazing right at me.

On the Way to Meet Her

This is what happened before the three went to bring her to the Land of Oz.

Crowlie: “The day we go to see Dorothy is finally here!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, let’s get going!”

Heartmann: “I know I’m looking forward to it!”

Crowlie: “But, come to think of it…just how are we going to get to Kansas, anyway?”

Leonardo: “Wait, Crowlie, you don’t know how to get there?!”

Crowlie: “Well…it’s in a different world, so I can’t imagine there being a road to Kansas…”

Leonardo: “Seriously?! Crowlie, I thought you got the brains!”

Heartmann: “Do we have to get a hot air balloon, like the Great Oz…?”

Solomon: “Haha…worry not, you three.”

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon!”

Solomon: “Come forth, Rainbow Bridge between our worlds!”

Crowlie: “Wow! That’s an immense rainbow!”

Solomon: “Kansas and Dorothy are beyond this very Rainbow Bridge.”

Leonardo: “Nice, Lord Solomon!”

Solomon: “Heh. I could get used to that kind of praise.”

Crowlie: “So Dorothy’s on the other side of this bridge…!”

Heartmann: “I wonder how she’s grown?”

Leonardo: “She’s gotta be a beauty!”

Crowlie: “She’s almost 17… Mm. I’d say she’s got to have grown into a beautiful woman.”

Heartmann: “My heart’s pumping already!”

Leonardo: “Just wait for us, Dorothy! We’re on our way!”

Heartmann: “Yeah! Let’s go!”

Crowlie: “Let’s go see her!”

With that, the three began to walk along the Rainbow Bridge.

Chapter 2: Night of the Ball (11/11)

2.1

Dorothy: “So, this is the wardrobe…!”

The wardrobe, well, room, that Solomon had taken me to, was far larger than I had imagined.

Solomon: “Rather large, isn’t it?”

(feels like this is many times bigger than my house in Kansas…)

Inside the room hung an innumerable amount of clothes.

Dorothy: “Even if I wore something different every day, I think it’d take years to get through all these outfits.”

Toto: “Woof woof!”

Toto happily ran around.

Dorothy: “Down, Toto!”

Solomon: “It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the wardrobe, but looking up close, there’s quite a few clothes in here… Perhaps I should open a store.”

Dorothy: “Wh-What…?!”

Solomon: “Haha, I’m just kidding.”

Solomon let out a mischievous laugh.

Solomon: “Go ahead and choose a dress you like. Pick whatever shoes and accessories you want, too.”

Beautiful shoes and wondrous accessories sparkled before my eyes, illuminated by the room’s lights.

2.2

Dorothy: “Thank you so much!”

After giving a small nod, Solomon called out into the back of the room.

Solomon: “Is anyone here?”

Then, a lone maid appeared.

Maid: “You called, milord?”

Solomon: “Could you help us find a dress for Dorothy?”

Maid: “Understood, milord. It is an honor to serve on such an occasion.”

Solomon: “It’s in your hands.”

With that, Solomon left the wardrobe.

(All right, I’ve got to find a dress…)

I set out to pick a dress, but there were just so many I didn’t know where to start.

(Oh, what am I going to do…? They’re all so wonderful, I can’t just settle on one…)

Toto: “?”

Toto looked between the dress and I.

Dorothy: “Toto, you help out too.”

Toto: “Woof!”

2.3

Love Choice: Quadlings’ Dress (Pink) 100 Coins or 1000 Spinels

Maid: “Lady Dorothy, it looks wonderful on you!”

Dorothy: “Aww, thanks.”

I looked to my reflection in the mirror, glad in the dress I’d chosen, to see a self I’d never seen before.

(It’s so beautiful…!)

Dorothy: “Look at me, Toto! I’ve never worn such a beautiful dress!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto answered, wagging his tail.

(I wonder if Crowlie will like it?)

Expectation built up in my chest.

Maid: “You would do well to hurry, milady. The ball is about to start.”

Dorothy: “Huh, it’s time already?!”

Quite a bit of time had passed after the maid had helped me put on the dress and my makeup.

(Crowlie and the others must be tired of waiting… I’ve got to hurry!)

Maid: “I shall escort you to the dance hall.”

Dorothy: “Oh, please do.”

With Toto in tow, I headed to the dance hall.

When I stepped into the hall, I had to squint my eyes at the brightness of the chandelier.

I was surprised too, at there being far larger a crowd than I’d expected.

(Wow! There’s so many people!)

Toto: “Woof!”

I fell silent when everyone’s eyes turned to me.

(What should I do…?!)

Crowlie: “Dorothy!”

Crowlie called my name, running up to me.

Dorothy: “Oh, Crowlie…!”

Crowlie: “…!”

He just looked at me, surprise on his face.

(Feels kind of embarrassing, having his eyes on me like that…)

Dorothy: “U-Um…how do you like my dress…?”

Crowlie: “It’s beautiful…”

He whispered.

Heartmann and Leonardo pushed their way through the crowd to appear before me, as well.

Heartmann: “What a wonderful dress you’ve chosen! It looks great on you!”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Heartmann.”

Leonardo: “Whoa…Dorothy, you’re beautiful! Way too beautiful! You’re like a princess!”

Dorothy: “Oh, Leonardo, you praise me too much.”

Leonardo: “No, I’m serious! Right, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “Huh…?”

Seeming to come back to his sense, Crowlie suddenly started blushing.

Heartmann: “What’s wrong, Crowlie? Dorothy’s too beautiful for you to talk?”

Crowlie: “I-I…!”

Oz: “Nice look you’ve got going on, little lady.”

Wesley: “Well, you don’t look totally out of place here.”

Oz and Wesley had shown up, too.”

Oz: “It’s not too late. You can still pick me, you know.”

Dorothy: “Oh, I can’t do that.”

Oz: “People change their minds all the time.”

Wesley: “I’ll chase everyone off if it’s what you want.”

Leonardo: “Great Oz and Wizard of the West, stay out of this!”

Heartmann: “Indeed. Nobody called you.”

Leonardo and Heartmann pushed Oz and Wesley away.

Oz: “Come on, there’s no way I can let such a beautiful lady be.”

Crowlie: “…”

(Huh?)

Crowlie alone, however, stayed mostly silent, with his eyes on me.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, is something wrong?”

Crowlie: “!”

His face red, Crowlie quickly looked away.

(Maybe he…doesn’t like this dress?)

Crowlie: “…”

Dorothy: “Do you not like the dress?”

Crowlie: “No, it’s not that…”

He whispered, but didn’t try to meet my eyes with his.

Crowlie: “Can I talk to you for a moment?”

Crowlie took my hand and took me somewhere a bit far from the others.

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 2 CG

Dorothy: “What’s the matter?”

He looked right at me with completely serious eyes.

Crowlie: “Please, don’t go see anyone else in that dress.”

Dorothy: “Huh? Why?”

Crowlie: “Well…”

Crowlie fell silent, his face still red.

(I wonder what’s wrong with Crowlie…?)

2.4

Norton: “Everyone, quiet down, please!”

Norton’s voice rang through the dance hall.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto, quiet…!”

Norton: “The great Wizard of the South, Lord Solomon, would like to share a word with all our guests.”

Floating into the air, Solomon looked over the entire hall.

Solomon: “Dorothy, the very girl who led this world to peace in the recent past, is about to turn 17.”

Solomon: “Let us all celebrate together this most wondrous of occasions.”

Solomon: “Though her Big Day is still a few days away, this ball is to celebrate Dorothy’s return to Oz.”

Solomon: “I want everyone to enjoy themselves!”

A wave of cheers and applause erupted through the hall.

Solomon: “But before that, let us have a word from Dorothy herself.”

Dorothy: “M-Me…?!”

(Wait, that’s way too sudden! What am I supposed to say?!)

I asked for the others to help with my eyes.

(Who should I ask for help…?)

(I know, Crowlie’s really smart, so he should be able to help…) (Intimacy +7)

I slipped up to Crowlie and was just about to ask for help when…

Crowlie: “Just thank everyone for celebrating your birthday and say how glad you are to be back in Oz.”

(Huh? But I haven’t asked him anything yet…)

My eyes went wide, but he just nodded lightly with a smile.

(Oh…he figured out what I wanted to ask just by looking at me.)

(Crowlie’s watching over me with those clear eyes of his…)

That made me really happy to know.

Dorothy: “Thank you, Crowlie.”

2.5

I took a step forward and looked around to see all the people who had gathered.

(I sure am nervous…)

(But I’ve got my three friends with me!)

I took a deep breath, then started talking to everyone.

Dorothy: “I’m deeply, deeply grateful to hear that you will celebrate my 17th birthday.”

Dorothy: “And I am truly glad to have the opportunity to come back to the Land of Oz and see everyone again.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, everybody!”

A wave of cheers and applause filled the dance hall.

Toto: “Ahoooo!”

Leonardo: “Way to go, Dorothy!”

Leonardo waved his arms in joy.

Heartmann: “What a wonderful speech! Oh, I think I’m going to cry…!”

His eyes moist, Heartmann quickly pulled out a handkerchief.

Crowlie: “That was perfect, Dorothy.”

Crowlie was looking right at me with a relieved face.

Dorothy: “Thank you, everyone!”

I took Crowlie’s hand and thanked him again.

Dorothy: “You really saved me back there, Crowlie. Thank you so much!”

Crowlie: “O-Oh…”

His cheeks suddenly red, Crowlie looked away.

2.6

Crowlie: “It wasn’t that big of a deal…”

He stole a glance or two at me.

Oz: “That was fine, but if it were me, I’d have pulled a trick or two out of my hat to get the crowd really going.”

Wesley: “Surprisingly strongly done. And here I thought you weren’t the sharpest knife int he drawer…”

Leonardo: “Don’t talk about Dorothy like that!”

Crowlie: “And just who was it that got annihilated once by Dorothy, again?”

Wesley:” What was that?!”

Dorothy: “Boys, please, don’t fight. You’ll ruin the ball.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy’s right.”

Suddenly, the sound of beautiful fanfare echoed through the hall.

Solomon: “Let the dance begin!”

The band began to play a refined tune, and the crowd began to pair up and dance.

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

Crowlie bowed before me and held out his hand.

Crowlie: “May I have this dance?”

The sheer politeness of his gesture had my heart leaping.

(Crowlie feels so, so…mature!)

2.7

Crowlie: What’s the matter?”

Dorothy: “O-Oh, nothing, just…worried if I can really dance…”

Crowlie: “We went over this, remember? I’ll lead, so you needn’t worry about a thing.”

His eyes on mine brimmed with confidence, as clear as they could be.

(I’ll believe in Crowlie!)

I took his hand in mine, and he gently pulled me towards him.

Then, oh so naturally, we began to dance.

Dorothy: “I’ve got to say, I’m nervous about dancing on front of this many people…”

Crowlie: “Just think of everyone as scarecrows.”

He winked.

I giggled a little, feeling a chunk of my nervousness evaporate away.

Crowlie: “All right, follow my steps.”

He sounded like he was singing as he whispered into my ear.

(What a gentle lead…)

Crowlie: “There you go, no need to rush. Just move to the rhythm.”

When I got more and more used to moving in tandem with him, he softly pulled me in toward him.

And for some reason, I felt like I was actually dancing. Respectably.

2.8

(But our bodies are…completely touching…)

My face suddenly grew red, and my heart started to flutter.

(My heart just won’t stop beating…and he’ll probably feel it, too!)

Crowlie: “Are you all right?”

Crowlie: “Are you all right?’

Dorothy: “You really are good at leading. It makes me feel like I’m actually dancing right.” (Intimacy +7)

I talked about his leading so that he wouldn’t notice the marathon my heart was running.

Crowlie: “I’m good at dancing.”

Dorothy: “Have you practiced?”

Crowlie: “Yes, with a scarecrow. I’d rather you keep that a secret, though.”

I nearly burst out laughing.

Dorothy: “Really, now?”

Crowlie: “Who knows? I’m afraid I can’t reveal any more of my secrets.”

Crowlie grinned.

I didn’t know if he really practiced with a scarecrow, or if he was only joking.

But I knew how nice he was in telling me that to make me feel less nervous.

(Crowlie really is nice…)

Suddenly, the music quickened in tempo.

Crowlie led my steps, matching the pace.

(I can’t keep up with him, not when it’s this fast…)

2.9

I took a brief look around me to see that everyone was looking intently at our dancing.

(Everyone’s looking…! Oh, it would be so embarrassing if I tripped or something!)

Dorothy: “Ah…!”

Crowlie: “Ow…!”

Nervous, I accidentally stepped on Crowlie’s foot.

Dorothy: “I’m sorry! …Are you okay?”

I stopped dancing and apologized to him.

Only the music kept going on, and everyone began to raise a fuss.

It hurt me to see Crowlie’s expression as he endured the pain.

Oz; “Well…she’s gone and done it.”

Wesley: “Getting stomped on by a high heel hurts like the devil. Serves ‘im right.”

Crowlie: “I’m fine…let’s keep dancing.”

Dorothy: “But it looks like it really hurts…”

Crowlie: “I’m fine. I can take it.”

(He says that now, but…what should I do?)

Leonardo: “Hey, are you all right?!”

Heartmann: “Wait, Leonardo.”

Leonardo tried to come up to us in concern, but Heartmann stopped him.

(He said he wants to continue dancing, so I’ll believe in him…!) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “All right, Crowlie…let’s keep dancing. I want to keep going, too.”

Crowlie raised his head.

Crowlie: “You needn’t worry. I won’t let this stop me.”

He smiled.

And that smile took such a weight off my shoulders.

Leonardo: “Heh, making us worry…”

Heartmann: “Haha…it turned out well though, didn’t it?”

2.10

Crowlie and I started dancing again.

Solomon: “Everybody, let us dance!”

At Solomon’s voice, everyone started to dance.

Dorothy: “Is your foot really all right?”

I asked how his foot was doing while I followed his head.

Crowlie: “It’s strange…I actually appreciate the pain I feel on it.”

Dorothy: “Huh? What do you mean?”

Crowlie: “When I was a scarecrow made of straw, I couldn’t feel even the slightest hint of pain…”

Crowlie: “…but when I human body is damaged, it feels pain. That’s why I like this body.”

Dorothy: “You like pain?”

Crowlie: “Well, feeling pain is proof that I’m alive.”

Crowlie stared at my hand, linked with his.

Crowlie: “I can feel the warmth of your hand on mine, too.”

Crowlie smiled at that.

(He can feel warmth…and that’s proof that he’s really become a human.)

(I can feel the warmth on his hand, too.)

Dorothy: “Crowlie, I’m sorry for stepping on your foot.”

I came out and apologized, but he laughed.

Crowlie: “Oh, I’ll be all right. More importantly…you’re coming into dancing quite well.”

Dorothy: “H-Hey, I think I am!”

I noticed with surprise that my body was just naturally moving.

Dorothy: “It’s because I have someone great at the lead. Thanks, Crowlie!”

2.11

Crowlie: “You’re very welcome.”

(A talented dancer, able to laugh off getting his foot stepped on…)

(…you really have grown into a wonderful person.)

Leonardo: “Crowlie, come on, let me cut in!”

For some reason, Leonardo and Heartmann were dancing with each other.

Heartmann: “I can’t keep this up forever…”

Dorothy: “Really? Oh, but you look like such a wonderful pair.”

Crowlie: “I wouldn’t want to interrupt your dance, so we’ll continue on.”

Heartmann: “Hey…!”

Leonardo: “I want to dance with Dorothy, too!”

Heartmann: “Ouch! Don’t step on my foot, Leonardo!”

Leonardo: “You’re telling me that armor is just for decoration?!”

Norton: “My, everyone seems to be having a good time.”

Solomon: “Of course. It is a ball, after all.”

Oz; “What a bore…”

Wesley: “Tch…”

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Toto ran around Crowlie and I as we danced, seeming to be having a ball himself.

Dorothy: “Are you dancing too, Toto? My, you’re good!”

Crowlie; “Come, let us dance even more!”

With that, we kept up our dance to the elegant music’s rhythm.

What Crowlie Thinks of Her

Crowlie: “Dorothy picked me to be her boyfriend! I’m so glad!”

Crowlie: “I mean, she’s just such a wonderful girl!”

Oz: “Excuse me? What do you even know about her, anyway?”

Crowlie: “Quite a bit. From our journey last time, I know just how nice she is!”

Crowlie: “She even became friends with me when I was a scarecrow.”

Oz: “Yeah, she was also a child. Children don’t see anything strange with becoming friends with dolls, remember?”

Crowlie: “She is still every bit as nice now as she was then!”

Crowlie: “And she’s become very beautiful, too…!”

Oz: “And here I thought what’s on the inside was more important than looks.”

Crowlie: “Her personality is wonderful, too. She was brave enough to even stand up to the Wizard of the West.”

Oz: “Didn’t she just not know how scary he was?”

Crowlie: “Do you really have to follow up on everything I say?!”

Oz: “What, you mad?”

Crowlie: “I’m not! Now listen, because Dorothy’s as wonderful on the inside as she is on the outside, she picked me to be her boyfriend!”

Oz; “Well, I won’t hold your gushing against her…”

Crowlie: “I’ve got to become a man worthy of her love…!”

Oz; “Good grief… Scarecrow, you’re just too serious.”

Crowlie: “I must become worthy!”

Oz; *Sigh*…

Chapter 3: Night After the Ball (13/13)

3.1

With the ball over, I headed to the guest room I had been given for the night.

Though I had laid down and tried to sleep, I just couldn’t stop thinking about the ball. Sleep didn’t come to me.

(What a lovely ball that was!)

I suddenly jumped out of bed.

My body still felt light with excitement, and I felt like I was dreaming.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Looks like you enjoyed yourself too, didn’t you Toto?”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto shook his tail like there was no tomorrow.

Dorothy: “A huge crowd of people all gathering in a wonderful castle, all dancing in such a beautiful ball…”

Dorothy: “Oh, if only all of my birthdays could be like this!”

Imagining the hustle and bustle of the party, however, suddenly filled me with loneliness.

Crowlie and the others had been led off to other rooms, so they weren’t here.

Toto: *whine*…

Dorothy: “This room’s so quiet you can’t help but feel a little lonely, can you?”

The room put my house in Kansas to shame with its size and glamour, but the quietness of it made me shiver a little.

Dorothy: “I wonder if the boys have fallen asleep already…?”

Crowlie and the others’ faces floated into my mind.

Dorothy: “Haha… They certainly are all becoming in their human forms.”

The sheer difference compared to their old forms nearly made me laugh.

3.2

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “Oh, that’s right. Toto, you didn’t know them back then, did you? Oh, you’d probably jump if you did!”

Toto couldn’t speak, but he would always listen when I wanted him to.

(But, come to think of it…just why do I need to choose a boyfriend on my 17th birthday?)

An image of Crowlie floated into my mind, his clear eyes looking right at me.

Dorothy: “Toto, did I…did I make the right choice with Crowlie?”

Toto: “…”

Toto let out a large yawn, as if to announce his boredom.

Dorothy: “Oh, Toto!”

Suddenly, Toto hurried up to the door leading out and squared his eyes on me.

Dorothy: “You want to go for a walk? Well, you know it’s late at night. We can’t just walk around the castle.”

Toto: “Woof!”

And yet, Toto let out a wanting bark.

Dorothy: “All right, all right. But only for a while!”

I decided to leave the room with Toto and take a look around the palace, but just for a little while. Really.

Toto: “Woof…”

Dorothy: “Toto, wait up! Slow down a little!”

Toto walked up ahead down the quiet hallway, keeping up a pace slightly outside of my comfort zone.

(What if we got lost in here…?)

The palace was larger than any place I’d been in, and though the hallways weren’t quite a maze, they twisted and turned in a way that opposed intuition.

3.3

Toto: “Arf…?”

Suddenly, Toto stopped and started sniffing at something that caught his attention.

Dorothy: “Whatcha got there, Toto?”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “W-Wait!”

I hurried after Toto as he dashed off.

(Oh, why do you have to be so fast…?)

Toto dashed around the corner, so I can around the corner as well.

Dorothy: “Eep!”

The moment I turned the corner, I slammed into someone.

Crowlie: “Oof…are you all right, Dorothy?”

Standing before me was Crowlie, surprise on his face.

Dorothy: “Crowlie?!”

Crowlie: “Getting my foot stepped on, getting slammed into in the halls… Tonight simply is not my night.”

Dorothy: “Oh, I’m sorry!”

Crowlie burst out laughing at my apology.

Crowlie: “Haha, I jest, I jest. So, are you unharmed?”

Dorothy: “Oh, Crowlie, you card… I’m fine. And you?”

Crowlie: “Completely. So, what brings you out here at this hour?”

(Oh, that’s right! Toto!)

3.4

I looked around for Toto, but couldn’t find him anywhere.

Dorothy: “Have you seen Toto around here?”

Crowlie: “Toto? I saw him running down the hall.”

Crowlie pointed down the hall.

Dorothy: “Oh, Toto, where did you run off to…”

Chasing after him wasn’t an option, since he was nowhere to be seen.

Crowlie: “Are you racing with Toto, or something?”

Dorothy: “Well, not exactly. I couldn’t fall asleep, so I was taking Toto for a walk around the castle.”

Dorothy: “Then, he suddenly started running, and…”

Crowlie: “Oh, i see. So he ran off on you.”

Grasping the situation, Crowlie nodded with a smile.

Crowlie: “I’m certain he’ll come running back to his beloved master before long.”

Dorothy: “I would certainly hope he does…”

Dorothy: “Oh, say. Crowlie, what were you doing?”

Crowlie: “Oh, I was…”

Crowlie suddenly looked away, his face reddened.

Crowlie: “I found I could not sleep, either…”

He stole glances at me as he spoke.

Dorothy: “You too, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “Well, it’s…the first time I’ve felt like this…”

Dorothy: “Oh, me too. My heart’s still fluttering…”

Crowlie: “And sometimes pounding…”

Dorothy: “I felt like I was floating…”

Crowlie: “And like my chest tightened and tightened…”

Dorothy: “Oh, it was such a wonderful ball!”

3.5

Crowlie: “It was such a wonderful… Wait, ball?!”

Crowlie’s eyes bulged.

Dorothy: “Huh? You weren’t talking about the ball?”

Crowlie: “W-Well…the ball certainly had something to do with it, but…”

Crowlie let out a sigh.

(Did I say something strange?)

Crowlie: “Say, Dorothy…would you like to continue your walk with me?”

Dorothy: “N-Now?”

Crowlie: “I will show you around the palace.”

(Should I…?)

Dorothy: “Sure, let’s go on a walk.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Really?!”

He put on a bright smile.

Dorothy: “I probably won’t be able to sleep if I go back to my room, and I don’t even have Toto to talk to.”

Crowlie: “We might find Toto on our walk, as well.”

Dorothy: “Crowlie, do you know your way around this castle?”

Crowlie: “Indeed. I’ve been here quite a few times. Now, let us be off.”

Crowlie had taken me to a breathtakingly beautiful hall.

Dorothy: “My goodness!”

Crowlie: “This is the pride and joy of the palace, the Great Hall. You would be hard pressed to find a hall this beautiful anywhere else.”

Large mirrors acted as walls for both sides of the hall, and a beautiful picture decorated the high ceiling.

3.6

Crowlie: “Befitting of the great Wizard of the South, wouldn’t you say?”

Dorothy: “Oh, speaking of wizards…your work at the Emerald City can’t be easy.”

Crowlie: “Well…though I must confess to my lack of experience, I manage.”

Crowlie puffed his chest out with a hint of pride.

Dorothy: “I’m sure you’ll turn out to be a wonderful king, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “Oh, thank you!”

Crowlie nodded, seemingly overcome with joy.

(It really is unbelievable… The scarecrow I went on that journey with is now the King of the Emerald City…)

As I felt impressed with him, Crowlie started moving.

Crowlie: “It appears Toto is not here. Let us go to the next place.”

The next place he brought me to was the balcony at the very top of the palace.

Dorothy: “Oh my, it’s so beautiful!”

I could see a Kansas town underneath the starry sky.

Crowlie: “I love looking out onto the town from this balcony as well. Especially at night.”

Dorothy: “It’s so beautiful!”

We just kept our eyes on the beautiful scenery.

Crowlie: “Say, Dorothy. What do you like best about coming back to Oz?”

Dorothy: “What I like best?”

Crowlie: “I’d love to hear.”

Dorothy: “There’s a lot to like, but…I’m most glad to have seen everyone again.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Not the beautiful dress? Not the grand hall?”

Dorothy: “I liked all of that, but I just couldn’t forget the friends I went on that journey with.”

Dorothy: “I’d always wanted to see you three again.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

Dorothy: “I liked getting to meet all of you again the best!”

Crowlie: “Oh, I’m so glad I went to take you here…”

Crowlie: “I’m happiest that I was able to see you again, too.”

3.7

Dorothy: “You know, I think I’d like to take a nice stroll around Oz. Take my time looking around.”

Crowlie: “It has not changed much, I’m afraid.”

Dorothy: “Well, when I was last here, I was just so desperate to get back to Kansas that I couldn’t enjoy myself.”

That was the reason I had traveled with Crowlie, after all.

Crowlie: “True, true…and I was after brains.”

Crowlie: “Heartmann wished for a heart, and Leonardo wished for courage.”

Crowlie: “We all went on our journey so that our wishes may be granted. Ah, the memories…”

Dorothy: “That’s why I want to take my time this time.”

Crowlie: “Very well. I shall show you Oz, then.”

Dorothy:” Thanks. I’m looking forward to it!”

My heart filled with anticipation as I gazed upon the beautiful night sights.

When I turned my eyes to Crowlie after feeling his gaze, I saw him looking right at me.

(Hm? Why is he looking at me…?)

(Come on, you’re embarrassing me…)

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

I turned to him, hearing my name.

Crowlie: “…Can I hold your hand?”

He gently held out his hand, his face going red.

His fingers twined around mine.

(Huh…?)

3.8

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 1,000

I froze for a moment, then tensed my hand up.

I looked at his face and nearly found myself sucked into his all too clear eyes.

I gently relaxed my hand and met his grip with my own.

(My heart is positively pounding… What am I going to…?)

Dorothy: “…Are we continuing our dance?”

I smiled at him.

Crowlie: “!”

And though I wanted to hide my embarrassment with a smile…

Crowlie: “…Dorothy!”

He embraced me.

(Huh…?!)

I was too surprised to make a sound.

(Crowlie, what are you…?!)

My heart started to beat even more furiously.

And I could hear his heart, beating just as much.

(It’s Crowlie’s heartbeat…!)

The two pulses beating in our chests eventually melded, forming a thumping harmony.

(Why…? Why does it feel so…comfortable?)

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie: “O-Oh…!”

Coming back to his sense, Crowlie quickly released me.

3.9

Crowlie: “…?!”

He just stared at his own two hands in shock.

His expression almost said that he had no idea what he had just done.

Dorothy: “…Crowlie?”

I called his name, a little worried, and his eyes slowly came to mine.

Crowlie: “What was it…?”

Crowlie was clearly taken aback by his own actions.

Crowlie: “Oh, I’m…I’m sorry…!”

Freaking out, Crowlie apologized with his face beet red.

Dorothy: “H-Hey, no need to apologize…”

Suddenly feeling embarrassed myself, I let out words even I didn’t know the meaning of.

Crowlie: “R-Really? Do you mean…?”

Dorothy: “No, I mean, um… Oh, what am I saying…?!”

Crowlie: “No, no, I’m the one at fault here!”

???: “Ah, there you are!”

Crowlie: “Whuh?!”

Dorothy: “Huh…?!”

Crowlie and I started at the sudden voice.

Leonardo: “What are you two doing, all alone?”

Heartmann: “I’d rather like to know.”

Making a sudden appearance were Leonardo and Heartmann.

3.10

Crowlie: “What are you doing here?!”

Heartmann: “We were worried you weren’t in your room, so we came looking for you.”

Crowlie: “I was just going out for a little walk…”

Leonardo: “A walk? Then why’s Dorothy with you?”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, what’s going on?”

Dorothy: “I was looking for Toto.” (Intimacy +7)

Leonardo: “Toto? He run off somewhere?”

Dorothy: “Yeah, he just dashed off…”

Crowlie: “Since running into each other, we’ve been looking for him together.”

Heartmann: “Oh, so that’s what this is about.”

Leonardo: “Tch, that pup’s a handful. You know what animals need? Discipline! Training!”

We all just looked at Leonardo, all at once.

Crowlie: “You…certainly have a point…”

Leonardo: “Hm?”

Leonardo: “Whoa! Look at that view. Man, this is the best view around.”

Dorothy: “It really is romantic, isn’t it?”

Heartmann: “So you two were all alone in such a perfect place… and nothing happened?”

Crowlie: “Wh-What? Unthinkable, simply…unthinkable…”

A wave of hesitation took on Crowlie’s face.

3.11

Heartmann: “…?”

Leonardo: “You two haven’t been smooching, have you?”

Dorothy: “N-No!”

Leonardo: “Not even going to kiss her in front of scenery this awesome? Sounds like someone needs some courage, Crowlie!”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie;’s face kept its hesitation.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, what’s the matter?”

Crowlie: “O-Oh, nothing…nothing at all…”

Heartmann: “Wait, don’t tell me…”

Leonardo: “Tell you what, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “Oh, nothing. So where do you think Toto ran off to?”

Dorothy: “Well, he wasn’t in that big mirror hall.”

Crowlie: “Well, this castle is rather large, and I do hope he hasn’t gotten lost…”

Dorothy: “I wonder if he’ll be all right…?”

Leonardo: “Well, fear no longer, because we’re joining in on this search party.”

Heartmann: “All right, Dorothy and I will handle this area, so go ahead and take the other side, you two.”

Leonardo: “Wait, who said we were pairing off?!”

Crowlie: “I seem to recall being the one searching with Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “Well, now that I’m here, can’t she search with me?”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, have you heard the way that guy’s armor clanks? You really want to go on this hunt with him?”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, I don’t think i need to tell you to stay away from wild animals.”

Leonardo: “Hey, I’m not just ANY wild animal! I’m the king of the jungle!”

Crowlie: “A human king of the jungle?”

Leonardo: “Oh, uh, good point… Wait, let’s get back on topic!”

Dorothy: “Quiet down, everyone! Let’s just go looking together. Sound good?”

3.12

They all agree. Reluctantly.

Toto: “Woof!”

And then, all of a sudden, Toto comes running onto the veranda.

Dorothy: “Toto! Where were you?!”

Wagging his tail, Toto plopped over on his side at my feet.

Leonardo: “Just look at that belly! It’s like a balloon!”

Toto, laid down on his back, bared his now bulging gut.

Heartmann: “Did he find himself a snack somewhere?”

???: “And what might you be doing?”

(Who…?)

Joining us on the veranda was Norton, the Wizard of the North.

Dorothy: “Oh, sorry about the noise… I was just taking a little walk before I went to bed.”

Crowlie: “Running into Dorothy, I’m afraid my joy got the better of me…”

Norton: “I see. Well, the hour being the hour, I would request that you control yourself.”

Dorothy: “Sorry.”

Norton: “Ah, and would anyone happen to have seen the cookies that were in my room?”

Dorothy: “Your cookies?”

Norton: “Indeed, the very ones I was so looking forward to eating before bed.”

Norton: “They have gone and vanished on me, with not a single remaining.”

(Wait… Wait, don’t tell me…)

3.13

I shoot a glance at Toto at my feet.

Toto: *burp*…

(TOTO!)

Crowlie: “Cookies, you say… Leonardo, you did not eat them, did you?”

Leonardo: “Nah…I haven’t seen so much as a single cookie today.”

Heartmann: “Lord Norton, would you like me to help you search for them?”

Norton: “You needn’t go to the trouble, I will look for them myself. Now, just where did they go off to…”

When Norton had disappeared from view, everyone burst out laughing.

Crowlie: “Hahah! I was worried he would find us out!”

Heartmann: “Ahahaha! Those cookies are in Toto’s belly!”

Leonardo: “Now that’s what I call courage — wolfing down Lord Norton’s cookies like that!”

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “Bad dog, Toto! No more running away, okay?”

Leonardo: “Well, Toto’s accounted for, so how ’bout we head to bed?”

Heartmann: “Yeah, good idea.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, allow me to escort you to your room.”

Dorothy: “Oh, that’s all right, I can make it back on my own. Head back to bed and rest up, all right, everyone?”

I picked up my now plump puppy with both arms.

Then, I took another look at the beautiful night scenery from the balcony, with its mystifying stars and beautiful town, writing it into my memory.

(Goodnight, Quadlings. Looking forward to tomorrow!)

Boys Talk Among Best Friends

Crowlie: “Dorothy coming back to Oz is like a dream come true.”

Leonardo: “Yeah, I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a long time!”

Heartmann: “We’ve got to make sure she has fun until her birthday comes!”

Crowlie: “I’ll put my brains to work to have her enjoy her time here, too!”

Leonardo: “And I’ll protect her. That’s why I’ve got this courage!”

Heartmann: “Ohh… I can’t hold back my tears…!”

Leonardo: “Don’t cry, Heartmann! Be all hospitable to Dorothy with that nice heart of yours.”

Crowlie: “If we put together our brains, courage and heart, we’ll definitely be able to show Dorothy a good time!”

Heartmann: “I’m so glad you guys are my friends!”

Leonardo: “That’s right, we’re friends — comrades! IF the three of us get together, there’s nothing we can’t do!”

Crowlie: “But what would Dorothy like, anyway?”

Leonardo: “Er, Heartmann, wouldn’t you know about that kind of stuff?”

Heartmann: “Er, well…I’ve never really gone out with a girl, so…”

Crowlie: “Well, uh…if we put together our brains, courage, and heart…!”

Heartmann: “Y-Yeah! Definitely! Haha!”

Leonardo: “Sure is nice to have friends! Hahaha!”

Crowlie: “Ahaha…haha…ha…!”

Chapter 4: To the Emerald City (16/16)

4.1

Before I knew it, the next morning had come.

Toto:” Arf!”

I ended up having breakfast with everyone in the castle’s dining hall.

Dorothy: “What a huge dining hall!”

(Now this is the kind of beautiful eating room I’d expect from the palace of Quadlings!)

Everyone was already seated at the long, large dining table.

Leonardo: “Good morning, Dorothy!”

Dorothy: “Good morning, Leonardo.”

Heartmann: “Slept well?”

Dorothy: “Like a baby.”

After I greeted Leonardo and Heartmann, my eyes met with Crowlie’s.

His eyes were just as clear as they were yesterday.

Crowlie: “Good morning. Your seat, if you would.”

Dorothy: “Good morning, Crowlie.”

When I sat down in the seat next to Crowlie, the servants started to lay our breakfast on the table.

Toto: “Woof!”

Even Toto, sitting obediently at my feet, received a plate of dog food.

Oz: “So, little miss, where in the dreamland did you go?”

Dorothy: “I can’t quite remember.”

Oz; “You can’t?”

4.2

Dorothy: “Well, being in Oz is so much like dreaming that I can’t quite tell when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake.

Wesley: “You probably just didn’t dream.”

Leonardo: “Actually, I really get what Dorothy’s saying.”

Wesley: “Excuse me?”

Leonardo: “I’ve got some trouble telling between dream and reality a bunch myself.”

Crowlie: “That is simply because you take far too many naps.”

Heartmann: “Agreed. One takes their eyes off of you for a moment and you’re off to dreamland.”

Crowlie: “I suppose you’ve still got your catty habits in you.”

Leonardo: “At least call them lion habits!”

Solomon: “Hahaha, well, since we’re all here now, let us start breakfast.”

Leonardo: “Oh, let me at it!”

Leonardo started eating up a storm.

My eyes went wide before the sheer generosity of the food in front of me.

(Can I really start my day with food like this…?)

Crowlie: “Not your type of food?”

Dorothy: “Well, there’s just so much of it, and I don’t want to leave anything…”

Crowlie: “Oh, you needn’t worry about that. I’m sure Leonardo will be more than happy to help him.”

Leonardo: “Yeah, just leave it to my belly! Can I get another bowl of soup over here?”

Heartmann: “Leonardo’s gut is more or less bottomless.”

Crowlie: “So you needn’t push yourself with breakfast.”

With that, Crowlie divided some of the food into a small plate for me.

4.3

Dorothy: “Thank you.”

Right when I tried to reach for the plate, my finger lightly touched his.

Crowlie: “…!”

He winced, and nearly dropped the plate.

Dorothy: “Oh, sorry!”

Crowlie: “N-Not at all, the fault lies with me…”

Crowlie;’s face went beet red.

Oz: “Watch it. Don’t be missing up Dorothy’s dress.”

Dorothy: “It’s all right, he didn’t drop it. You’ve got some sauce on your mouth though, Oz.”

Oz; “Oh, really…?”

Wesley: “Hey, what’d you eat my sausage for?!”

Wesley suddenly screamed in rage.

Leonardo: “Wait, were you going eat that?”

Wesley: “Why would you think I wouldn’t?! I was saving the best for last!”

Heartmann: “So the Wizard of the West saves his favorite food. Didn’t see that coming.”

Wesley: “Where’d you get off deciding my identity like that?!”

Leonardo: “Whoa, my omelette disappeared!”

Dorothy: “Like it would disappear.”

Norton, who had been attending Solomon like a butler, slightly raised an eyebrow.

Norton: “Just like my cookies…”

Crowlie: “Wait, could it be…”

4.4

Crowlie and the other two peeked at my feet.

Toto: “Nom nom…”

Leonardo: “Hey, Toto, give me back my omelette!”

Toto ran, and Leonardo chased after him.

(Oh, Toto…)

Norton: “One could say it is far too early to be raising such a commotion.”

Oz: “Agreed.”

Solomon: “I quite like the zest they bring to the table”

Leonardo: “Nor THAT’S what I call breakfast!”

Crowlie: “You ate like a beast.”

Heartmann: “As usual, of course.”

(Say…this is the place Crowlie took me to last night.)

The great hall in the morning looked far more beautiful than it did the night before.

Norton, who had been leading us, came to a halt.

Norton: “Dorothy, this is the great hall, the pride and joy of our palace.”

Norton kindly introduced the area.

Dorothy: “It really is beautiful. Crowlie showed it to me last night.”

Norton: “Ah, so he did.”

Before Norton could start walking again, however, Wesley stopped him.

Wesley: “Wait, wait, wait. Norton, why’d you know that Crowlie and Dorothy had been together last night?”

4.5

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 2,200

(Actually, that’s a good question.)

(Last night, we were the only ones in this hall…)

Norton: “…”

Leonardo: “Hold up!”

Leonardo butted in.

Leonardo: “That tone tells me that you, Wizard of the West…”

Leonardo: “…knew that Crowlie and Dorothy were alone together last night. How’d you know that?”

Wesley: “Have you forgotten that I’m a wizard?”

Crowlie: “Did you use magic?”

Wesley: “Divination’s my specialty. This right eye of mine can see places far, far away.”

Wesley spoke proudly.

Dorothy: “Wait, you were peeping on us?!”

Heartmann: “Peeping isn’t very becoming.”

Wesley: “I was keeping watch for the two of you, since there’s a rather suspicious character about.”

Wesley gave Norton a light glare.

Oz: “Still don’t trust Norton, oh Wizard of the West?”

Wesley: “Out with it, Norton. I know you can’t use divination magic.”

(So they’re both wizards, but the magic they use is different…)

Norton: “I encountered Dorothy and Crowlie at the balcony last night.”

Norton: “So I simply made the educated guess that Crowlie showed her the great hall.”

Oz: “Say, what were you doing out in the halls so late at night in the face place, anyway?”

4.6

Crowlie: “Taking a walk. Is that so wrong?”

Leonardo: “And Lord Norton was looking for his vanished cookies.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Oz took a moment to think, as if to piece together last night’s scene.

Oz: “I see, I see…nothing really sticks out, then.”

(Norton seems really sharp, so I’m sure he could’ve imagined why we were there.)

Leonardo: “Hey, Wizard! No more peeping!”

Wesley: “Tch…!”

Wesley frowned, miffed.

(Just why is the Wizard of the West so untrusting of Norton, anyway?)

The grandiose great hall was filled with a very thick, pressure filled air.

Leonardo: “Oh, Dorothy, what are you going to do now?”

(Do now…? Well, no one’s told me about any plans from now…)

Crowlie: “Lord Norton, are there any plans slated for today?”

Norton: “I’m afraid I have heard nothing from Lord Solomon.”

Norton: “You are free to do whatever you wish until your birthday.”

Crowlie: “Well, Dorothy, allow me to take you to a place of your choosing.”

Dorothy: “Oh, you will? I can’t wait!”

Leonardo: “Hey, don’t monopolize Dorothy. I’m coming with you.”

Heartmann: “I’ll come along with you too, then.”

4.7

Crowlie: “Why?”

Leonardo: “Well, we’re all friends here, aren’t we?”

Crowlie: “Alas…”

Crowlie reluctantly accepted their company.

Heartmann: “Well, where shall we be off to?”

Crowlie: “Well, as I said before…”

Crowlie: “…where would you like to go, Dorothy?”

(There’s a lot of places I want to go to, but first thing’s first…)

Dorothy: “I’d like to go to the Emerald City!” (Intimacy +7)

The destination we all went for in our journey together. A place still fresh in my memory.

Dorothy: “I want to see what it’s like now.”

Crowlie: “Gladly, Dorothy.”

Crowlie nodded with a smile.

Heartmann: “The Emerald City’s changed quite a bit since Crowlie took the throne.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

Crowlie “I would love for you to see it with your own eyes.”

Dorothy: “Looking forward to it!”

Leonrdo: “Then that settles it!”

Oz: “The Emerald City…I’ll tag along, then.”

Dorothy: “You too, Oz?”

4.8

Oz: “The city used to be under my rule. Curious to see how it’s changed.”

Oz: “Seeing it’ll also show me the king’s talent…or lack thereof.”

Crowlie “…!”

Oz: “You don’t have a problem with me tagging along, right?”

Crowlie: “Not at all. Come as you wish.”

Leonardo: “You’re not going to say you want to come too, are you, Wesley?”

Wesley: “Don’t invite me. I’m not a tourist.”

Heartmann: “That sounded like an invitation?”

Norton: “I will inform Lord Solomon of your trip, then.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Norton.”

(The Emerald City…. Oh, I wonder how it’s changed!)

When I was about to embark on my trip after getting ready, Solomon came out just to see me off.

Solomon: “It’s about a half day’s walk to the Emerald City. Up for the exercise?”

Dorothy: “Half a day…”

Solomon: “If not, I have something you should appreciate.”

Solomon gave a light wave of his hand, causing spheres of light to gather up and form into a gorgeous horse carriage.

Leonardo: “Whoa! Awesome!”

Crowlie: “What a beautiful carriage!’

Two white horses stood at the head of the golden carraige. I’d never seen such a beautiful vehicle in kansas.

4.9

Heartmann: “Lord Solomonn always impresses with his magic.”

Oz: “Not a bad trick.”

Solomon: “Behold, the Hyperdrive Bullet Carriage! You’ll be in the Emerald City in a snap.”

(Hyper what…?)

Crowlie: “So, Dorothy, do you wish to take the carriage to the city?”

Crowlie and the others were all looking right at me, seeming to want to say something.

Dorothy: “I won’t. If we walk there, we can enjoy the sights, right?” (Intimacy +7)

Leonardo: “Ture, true. I was hoping to get to walk with you myself.”

Crowlie: “As was I.”

Heartnann: “Me, too.”

Oz: “Wait, you’re going to burn half a day walking?”

Dorothy: “We all walked together last time, all the way to the Emerald City.”

Leonardo: “We sure did!”

Dorothy: “I can feel another fun journey coming on.”

Crowlie: “Then it’s settled.”

Dorothy: “Sorry for putting the carriage to waste, Solomon.”

Solomon: “Oh, no worries at all.”

Solomon snapped his fingers and the carriage dissipated back into light.

Norton: “Please, do take this with you.”

Norton held out a basket for me.

4.10

Dorothy: “What’s this?”

Norton: “Lunch for the road.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Norton.”

Oz: “Leonardo, you’re carrying the stuff.”

Leonardo: “Why me?”

Oz: “This is lunch we’re talking about. You see anyone else here with the courage to protect it?”

Leonardo: “You’ve…you’ve got a point. All right, leave this basket to me!”

Leonardo took the basket with that classic, big smile of is.”

Heartmann: “King Oz certain knows his way around words.”

Heartmann whispered so that Leonardo wouldn’t hear him.

Crowlie: “You could say that again…”

Solomon: “Well, take care on the road.”

Norton: “May you have a safe journey.”

Dorothy: “Thank you. Let’s go, everyone!”

With that, we left Quadlings Castle.

Leaving the town of Quadlings, we pleasantly walked along the road to the Emerald City.

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto took up the lead.

Crowlie: “Walking like this certainly brings me back…”

4.11

Dorothy: “It feels just like it did back then a few years ago.”

Heartmann: “Though we weren’t humans back then.”

Dorothy: “You all look wonderful now.”

Leonardo: “Really?”

Dorothy: “Really.”

They all looked at each other, laughing happily.

(Well, they all look so handsome. I bet the girls back in Kansas wouldn’t be able to leave them alone.)

Crowlie: “We’re not the only ones who’ve changed.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, you’ve grown up really beautiful.”

(Huh…?)

Leonardo: “You’ve really become a looker. Trust me!”

Heartmann: “Indeed. Back then, you were more cute than beautiful.”

(R-Really? Aww, how nice of them to say that…)

Leonardo: “Well, there’s one more thing that’s different from last time.”

Dorothy: “What’s that?”

Leonardo: “We’ve got the Great Oz with us.”

Everyone looked at Oz.

Oz: “…Not in the way, am I?”

Dorothy: “No, not at all.”

Crowlie: “Say…Oz, when did you arrive?”

4.12

Oz: “A bit before little miss here made it to the Land of Oz. Got an invitation.”

Heartmann: “Ah, I see.”

Oz; “Solomon told me about you three, too.”

Oz: “You’ve really stepped up since I’ve been gone.”

Dorothy: “I know that Crowlie became the King of Emerald City, but…”

(I don’t know about how Heartmann and Leonardo have changed yet…)

Leonardo: “Ah, that’s right. I haven’t told you what I’ve been up to yet.”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, you remember the grand old forest, right?”

Dorothy: “Oh, the forest with all those monkeys? Of course I do.”

Leonardo: “I’m the king of their forest.”

Leonardo puffed out his chest in pride.

Dorothy: “Wow, you’re the king of the forest? That sounds great!”

Crowlie: “He’s almost always coming to Heartmann and myself for help, though.”

Leonardo: “Going from being the king of the jungle to the king of a land’s pretty rough. I don’t get all this ‘politics’ stuff.”

Heartmann: “I think you’re doing well, actually. I’m quite impressed.”

Dorothy: “What are you now, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “I rule over the country of the Winkies, to the west.”

Dorothy: “You’re the King of the West?! Wow!”

Heartmann: “I’m quite surprised myself.”

Dorothy: “Well, I think you’ll make a wonderful king, Heartmann.”

(So they’re all kings…wow!)

4.13

Dorothy: “So that means I’m walking with three kings, then.”

Crowlie: “Come to think of it, it’s rather different from the last time we journeyed.”

Leonardo: “Nothing’s changed. We’re still friends, like we always were!”

Heartmann: “Nothing’s changed at all.”

Crowlie: “True, true.”

(My friends are here…and they’re still the same people.)

I was so happy that I got to go on another journey with them.

Toto: “Woof!”

Leonardo: “Oh? Toto, you want to join us, too? All right, you’re one of us!”

When Leonardo tried to pat Toto on the head, however…

Toto: “Grr!”

Leonardo: “Ouch! Whatcha bite me for?! Hey, get back here!’

Vexed, Leonardo chased Toto around.

Crowlie: “Here we go again…”

While everyone laughed, Oz let out a whisper.

Oz: “Friends, huh…”

Dorothy: “Hm? Did you say something?”

Oz: “Nothing, but…how about we take a break.?”

Crowlie: “Walking along was so fun I didn’t notice, but…it’s about lunchtime, isn’t it.”

Leonardo: “Oh, time to eat?!”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you could use a break too, couldn’t you?”

Dorothy: “All right, let’s take a break.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Are you tired?”

Dorothy: “I’m fine. I could go on walking no problem.”

Crowlie: “Glad to see you’re energetic.”

Dorothy: “But since we’ve got a long way to go, it’d probably be best to relax a little.”

Heartmann: “Thanks for thinking about us.”

Oz: “We finally get to take a break, huh?”

Leonardo: “All right, let’s eat!’

Toto: “Woof!”

4.14

Heartmann: “The perfect place for a rest.”

Dorothy: “Yeah, look at all these flowers!”

Colorful, beautiful flowers bloomed all over the ground.

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll sit over here.”

I sat down in the meadow and everyone sat around me.

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Toto barked at the picnic basket Leonardo had laid down.

Leonardo: “All right, all right, I’ll open it.”

Leonardo opened up the basket and let out a joyful roar.

Leonardo: “Whoa, these sandwiches look great! There’s even a pot with some tea in it!”

Oz: “yeah, yeah, just give me one already.”

Leonardo handed everyone their sandwiches.

Crowlie: “My, this certain does look good!”

Dorothy: I’ll pour the tea.”

There were enough cups in the basket for everyone, and I poured everyone tea.

Heartmann: “This herbal tea smells quite nice.”

Leonardo: “Hey, Toto, got some for you too!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto wagged his tail, pleased.

We all ate our lunch, enjoying conversation about nothing in particular.

4.15

Crowlie: “This feels kind of like a picnic.”

Heartmann: “Well, let’s just call it one, then.”

Leonardo: “Our whole journey’s a picnic.”

Oz: “Wait, what?”

Dorothy: “Actually, I feel the same way, a little.”

The warm sunlight and the soft breeze put everyone’s heart at ease.

Leonardo: “We’ve got apples for dessert, too!”

Leonardo pulled apples from the basket and gave them to everyone.

Dorothy: “Mm, this is good!’

I took a bite, savoring the apple’s fruity juices.

Leonardo: “Wait, where’d my apple go?!”

Crowlie: “Again?”

Heartmann: “We all know who did it…”

Everyone looked at Toto.

Toto: “Om nom…*gulp*!”

Toto swallowed the apple and dashed away at the speed of light.

Leonardo: “You’ve done it again, Toto!”

Leonardo dashed after him in a rage.

Oz: “Does he never learn?”

Leonardo turned around and ran back to us.

4.16

Dorothy: “What happened?”

Leonardo: “I forgot to fill my quota for today! Dorothy, I love you!”

Leonardo jumped at me with a hug at the end of his running dash.

Dorothy: “Ahhh!”

Crowlie and Heartmann quickly moved to pull him off.

Heartmann: “Enough, Leonardo! Get away from Dorothy!”

Crowlie: “You really never do learn!”

Oz; “I just can’t keep up with you guys.”

Oz just looked at the production, completely taken aback.

Then, Toto came back with impossible speed and bit Leonardo on the flank.

Toto: “Huff!”

Leonardo: “OWW!”

Finally pulling away from me, Leonardo fell to the ground and burst out laughing.

Leonardo: “Hahaha! This trip really is the best!’

Heartmann: “You rascal, you. Haha!”

Everyone fell over and started laughing.

Oz just looked at everyone, confused.

Oz; “…”

Crowlie: “So, shall we be on our way?”

As if it served as some sort of cue, everyone stood up.

Dorothy: “Yeah, let’s go!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Once again, we started walking towards the Emerald City.

The Thing Crowlie Got from Oz

Dorothy: “Crowlie, Oz gave you brains years ago, right?”

Crowlie: “That’s right. The intelligence I received completely changed my life.”

Oz: “Exaggerations, exaggerations…”

Crowlie: “Learning new things, gaining new knowledge…it’s really quite fun. How should I put it…”

Crowlie: “Oh, I know! Using your intelligence is like having an adventure inside your mind!’

Dorothy: “So you’ve been continuing your adventures since our journey this whole time, huh?”

Oz: “If you’re going to go on an adventure, don’t use your mind. Use your body.”

Dorothy: “Oz, thank you very much for giving Crowlie his brains.”

Oz: “Uh, I just…”

Crowlie: “I’m very grateful, Oz.”

Oz: “Hey, you two…I really haven’t done anything for you to be grateful about.”

Oz: “Listen up. Intelligence isn’t something you just use for yourself. Remember that.”

Crowlie: “I know. I will use this intelligence to bring happiness to the people of the Emerald City.”

Oz: “Well, that side, I’ve had enough .GO make sparkling eyes somewhere else, you two!”

Oz: “Heh. Grateful, huh. Didn’t expect that scarecrow to put a smile on my face.”

Oz: “He sure has become…quite the human.”

Chapter 5: Two Kings (14/14)

5.1

That evening, we had finally arrived at the Emerald City.

Dorothy: “My, how beautiful!”

There were more buildings, larger than I’d remembered, and the city was simply bustling with people.

Crowlie: “Welcome to the Emerald City.”

Dorothy: It’s completely changed, but it’s so beautiful…”

Crowlie: “Thank you, Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “I was looking forward to coming here, too.”

Dorothy: “Is there something you wanted to see here?”

Heartmann: “It’s a good reference. I figure there’s a lot I can learn here as another king.”

A look of slight bashfulness came over Crowlie’s face at Heartmann’s words.

Dorothy: “Oh, so Crowlie’s a good king.”

Leonardo:” The food here is great, too.”

Crowlie: “Well, putting it that way obligates me to have the finest meal prepared for all of you.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Oz: “I see…”

Oz seemed a little unsatisfied as he surveyed the large clearing.

Oz: “It’s changed, but…not to my liking.”

Crowlie: “Unsatisfied with the city?”

Oz; “Doesn’t quite matter if I am or not. You’re the king of the city. You do what you want.”

Crowlie: “…”

A large crowd of people noticed and gathered around us.

5.2

Older Woman: “Look, it’s King Crowlie!”

Young Woman: “Oh, he’s so dreamy! Ohmygosh, he looked this way!”

Male Merchant: Hey, look over there! Isn’t that the Great Oz?!”

Older Man: “King Oz has returned?!”

Young Woman: “I can’t believe this! That beautiful woman with them couldn’t be Dorothy, could she?”

Male Merchant: “The same Dorothy who saved Oz?!”

Older Woman: “Dorothy, could I have your autograph?”

Older Man: “Can I shake your hand?!”

Dorothy: “W-Wait, what?!”

A crowd of people was suddenly upon us, all clamoring away.

Oz: “Looks like you’re a regular celebrity.”

(What’s going on here?!)

Heartmann: “It’s because you’re the one who defeated the wizards of both East and West, Dorothy.”

(Well, that was kind of a mistake with the Wizard of the East…)

The crowd grew larger and larger, reaching a dangerous amount of people.

Leonardo: “Isn’t this…way too many people? If things get any more chaotic…”

Toto:” Gr…Woof, woof!”

His danger senses tingling, Toto started to bark the crowd down.

Crowlie: “Everybody, quiet!”

Crowlie’s noble voice rang through the area.

5.3

Crowlie: “Everyone, please, calm down! If this keeps up, someone will get hurt!”

Though the crowd fell silent for a moment…

Older Woman: “Oh, Crowlie, you’re so dreamy!’

Young Woman: “He looked at me! He looked at me! Ohmygosh I’m gonna die!”

Cries of joy erupted from the crowd again, and it fell once again into chaos.

(Gah, they’re even WORSE now!)

Leonardo: “Ouch! Hey, who stepped on my foot?!”

Crowlie: “…!”

(Oh no…we’ve got to calm this chaos down. Who should I ask for help?)

Dorothy: “Oz, please do something about this!” (Intimacy +7)

Oz: “Been a while since you’ve asked me for help.”

Dorothy: “I think they’ll listen to you. You used to lead this city!”

Heartmann: “But they won’t listen to Crowlie. And he leads this city now.”

Leonardo: “Well, it’s worth a try, isn’t it?”

Crowlie: “…Please, Great Oz.”

Oz: “All right. Leave it to me.”

Oz: “Crowds, I tell ya…”

Oz took a step in front of us all and raised his arms to the sky.

Oz: “Denizens of the Emerald City, I bid you to be silent!”

His voice, commanding authority, brought the crowd to a hush.

5.4

Older Man: “It’s King Oz!”

Young Man: “The Great King Oz is back!”

The clamor slowly quieted down.

Oz: “I understand your excitement, truly. I do! You are, after all, in the presence of Dorothy, the savior of this land, as well as myself!”

Oz: “I can understand just how joyful you are to see us back!”

Oz:” But before that, oh wise denizens of the Emerald City, lend me your ears!”

Now completely silent, the crowd all laid their eyes upon Oz.

(Wow! He got them quiet in a snap!)

Oz: “The great Wizard of the South, Solomon, has called her to our domain to celebrate her birthday.”

As gasps of awe took the crowd, Oz silenced them with a raise of his hand.

Oz: “And I, the previous ruler of this metropolis have returned as well! Why is that?”

Young Man: “Because you’re the Great King Oz!”

Oz: “A good question. There are countless kings in this world…”

Oz: “…but only one worthy of being called Great!”

Older Man: “Long live Great King Oz!”

Leonardo: “Look at him, he’s completely in his element.”

Crowlie: “…!”

Oz: “I, too, was summoned to celebrate Dorothy’s birthday. That has brought me here.”

Oz: “And now, I’m afraid it’s time to rein it in.”

Oz: “I ask that you hold on to the very joy you feel until Dorothy’s birthday comes.

Oz: “And I must add that I am glad from the bottom of my heart to have seen you all again! That is all, thank you!”

Oz finished his speech and was met with a storm of cheers and applause.

The cheers, however, beckoned no chaos.

5.5

Dorothy: “Wow…!”

Heartmann: “Now, that was conduct befitting of a king.”

Leonardo: “He’s certainly got that air of authority.”

Oz: “It wasn’t that big a deal. We’ve just got difference experience…and talent.”

Crowlie: “…!”

Oz: “Popularity alone doesn’t make a king. Right, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “…Right.”

Crowlie had his eyes squarely on the ground, biting his lip and tightly balling his hands into fists.”

Oz: “Well, let’s be off to the palace.”

We started walking to the Emerald Castle.

Leonardo: “Finally here!”

I looked up at the large palace of green.

Dorothy: “Oh, this brings me back… This is where I first met you, Oz, wasn’t it?”

Oz: “Yeah. It was my castle.”

Crowlie: “…”

Dorothy: “I bet it’s rare to have the old and new kings in one place, even for Oz.”

Though I started talking to him, Crowlie kept silent, his eyes still on the ground.

(Huh? Did he not hear me?)

Oz: “This castle was a virtual dump. The ‘city’, too, was nothing but a small-time town.”

Oz looked up at the castle with nostalgic eyes.

5.6

Heartmann: “My, I didn’t know that. Did you rebuild the castle yourself?”

Oz: “Pretty much.”

Leonardo: “So Oz made the dump of a castle into a real palace, and made the small town to a big city, then.”

Oz: “It wasn’t all me. I had the help of the people — that’s what made it work.”

Dorothy: “Wasn’t everyone just going along with your smooth talk?”

I meant it as a joke, but Oz shot me back a smirk.

Oz: “That’s exactly what happened, little miss. Looks like you’re starting to get me.”

He ended with a wink.

Heartmann: “I would give you the credit, Great Oz. One cannot make their country thrive without the love of the people.”

Dorothy: “I bet it was difficult to take over after Oz, wasn’t it, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “…”

Dorothy: “Crowlie?”

His eyes went wide as he snapped back into reality.

Crowlie: “Oh…y-yeah, it was.”

Dorothy: “What’s wrong? You seem a little…out of it.”

Leonardo: “Tired from all that walking?”

Heartmann: “You look a little pale. Are you all right?”

Crowlie: “I’m fine, really.”

Oz; “Let’s head into the palace. Heck, I’ll even show you around.”

With Oz at the lead, we all started walking in.

5.7

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie walked along in the very back, but his expression didn’t inspire much confidence.

Worried, I whispered to him.

Dorothy: “Are you really going to be okay?”

Crowlie: “Yeah…”

He replied flatly, not even looking at my face.

(Something seems really strange about him…)

A hue of unease lay in his clear eyes, and he seemed to have forgotten his usual, gentle smile.

(Just what could be on his mind…?)

We got into the castle to find a familiar looking hallway.

Dorothy: “I…I remember this hallway…”

Oz: “The insides haven’t changed too much.”

Crowlie: “I’ve prioritized the welfare of my people over renovating the castle.”

Heartmann: “That sure sounds like you, Crowlie.”

Dorothy: “I agree.”

Leonardo:” Could do with some loosening up, though.”

Heartmann: “And you could loosen up a little less, Leonardo.”

A servant and a soldier approached us from within the hall.

(Hey, they’re…!)

5.8

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 4,200

Servant: “Oh my…well, if it isn’t Dorothy!”

Guard: “Oh, how long it has been, Dorothy!”

Dorothy: “Oh, I thought it was you! I remember how much you helped me last time I was here.”

Servant: “An honor, my lady!”

Guard: “And is that not Great King oz…?!”

Oz; “Hey. Been doin’ all right?”

Guard: “Aye!”

The soldier snapped up his posture and saluted.

Crowlie: “these four are our guests. Do see to it that they are cared for in kind.”

Servant: “Yes, Your Majesty.”

Then, suddenly, someone came hurriedly running up to us from the other side of the hall.”

Green-clad Maid: “Dorothy! How are you?!”

Dorothy: “Hey, you’re…!”

She was none other than the maid who had taken care of me when I’d first gotten to the castle.

Dorothy: “You’re the maid!”

Green-clad Maid: “I am, and I’m glad to see you again!”

Dorothy: “Me too. Oh, you look like you’ve been doing well!”

The maid and I took each others’ hands and all but jumped for joy.

Heartmann: “oh, this is so…so moving!’

Heartmann wiped his flowing tears with a handkerchief.

5.9

Leonardo: “I’m hungry…”

Crowlie: “I’ll have dinner prepared immediately. Is there anything else you desire?”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, prime opportunity t’get served by a king. Ask for something, would ya?”

(Hm…what do I want…?)

Dorothy: “In that case, I want something sweet!” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “You always did like sweets.”

Dorothy: “Oh, you remembered?”

Crowlie: “Of course. I will have some brought to you after dinner.”

Heartmann: “I’d appreciate a new handkerchief, myself.”

Dorothy: “Oz, how about you?”

Oz: “What I want? Good question. I guess I’d like you to act a bit more like the king of the Emerald City.”

Crowlie: “What…?!”

Leonardo: “Doesn’t sound like food to me.”

Dorothy: “Oz, how could you say something like that?”

Oz: “Let me put it clearly. Not being able to calm down a clamor that small? That’s your failure as a king.”

Crowlie: “…!”

Heartmann: “Great King Oz, I think you have said a little too much. Crowlie works hard to fulfill his duties as king, and studies for that purpose, as well.”

Oz: “Studies? I bet all he’s doing is reading books and filing his head with useless knowledge.”

Oz: “That’s why he messed up like that.”

Dorothy: “Can’t we leave well enough alone? What’s done is done…”

Oz: “If I hadn’t stepped in, Dorothy would’ve gotten hurt!”

Crowlie: “…!”

Crowlie bit down on his lips, tight.

5.10

Oz: “You’re not using those brains right.”

Dorothy: “How is he using them wrong?”

Oz: “Listen to me, and listen good. Your mind isn’t just there to accumulate knowledge.”

Crowlie: “Knowledge is essential! You can use it to solve any problem, no matter what kind!”

Oz: “Then I’ll give you a problem. An easy calculation.”

(A calculation… Why?)

Crowlie: “All right, I accept.”

Oz: “You go at 60 kilometers per hour, and you come back at 30 kilometers per hour. What’s your average speed per hour?”

Crowlie: “Average speed per hour…45 kilometers per hour.”

Leonardo: “Huh? Why?”

Heartmann: “Since we’re after an average, we add the speed of going and coming back and divide by two.”

Dorothy: “That was easy.”

Oz: “But too bad, the answer’s 40 kilometers per hour.”

Crowlie: “That can’t be! 60 plus 30 is 90 and 90 divided by 2 is 45.”

Oz; “All right, then tell me, how much more time did it take you to come back then to go?”

Crowlie: “30 is half of 60, so it took twice as long to come back and…wait!”

The color drained from Crowlie’s face.

Oz; “Figured out the trick?”

Dorothy: “What do you mean?”

5.11

Heartmann: “Er, hold on a minute. Let me work it out…”

Leonardo: “Feeling kinda sleepy…”

Oz: “You’re taking the same road, so we’ve traveled 120 kilometers. Twice the 60 kilometers per hour we went with.”

Oz: “And how long did it take to get back?”

Crowlie: “Twice as long, so two hours…!”

Oz: “So how long did it take to go and come back?”

Crowlie: “One hour to go, two hours to come back, so three hours total.”

(W-Wait, this is a little complicated. What are they talking about?)

Oz: “So when you divide 120 kilometers by 3 hours, you get an average speed of 40 kilometers per hour. That’s the average speed of the trip.”

Crowlie: “I can’t believe I got such an easy problem wrong…!”

Crowlie just looked shocked that he had gotten the problem wrong.

Oz: “You allowed yourself to be too caught up in the word ‘average’. That’s why you just added and divided.”

Crowlie: “…”

Oz: “You have the knowledge to calculate speed, but don’t have the smarts to apply it to find the right answer.”

Oz: “That’s just like not having the knowledge in the first place.”

Crowlie: “Guh…!”

Crowlie bit his lips in bitter defeat, then dropped his shoulders in disappointment.

Leonardo: “Zzz…”

(How long’s Leonardo been sleeping?!)

Heartmann: “Carry the three… Wait, where’d I go wrong?”

(Heartmann’s still doing the math?!)

5.12

Oz: “So Scarecrow, you know what they call people who have brains but don’t act like they do?”

Crowlie: “…?”

Oz: “Idiots.”

Crowlie: “!”

The next moment, Crowlie dashed up to Oz and grabbed him by the collar.

Crowlie: “How dare you…!”

Oz: “My heart just weeps for the people who have such a fool of a king!”

Oz grabbed Crowlie’s collar, too.

Dorothy: “Both of you, just stop…!”

Leonardo snapped awake at my scream.

Leonardo: “Wh-What’s going on?!”

Crowlie: “I can’t believe you called me an idiot!”

Oz: “You’d better believe it, you idiot!”

Crowlie: “Only an idiot calls people idiots!”

Oz: “Only an idiot says only an idiot calls people idiots!”

Leonardo: “What are you, children?”

Heartmann: “We have to stop their fight!”

Heartmann stepped into their fight.

Heartmann: “Stop!”

Crowlie: “Stay out of this, Heartmann!”

Oz: “Get out of here, Tin Man!”

Dorothy: “ENOUGH!”

Toto: “Hoooowl!”

My cry and Toto’s howl brought Crowlie and Oz to a quick stop.

5.13

Crowlie: “…”

Oz: “…”

Dorothy: “And you call yourselves kings? When you fight like children?”

Crowlie: “…”

Oz; “Hmph…I’m not a king anymore.”

Both looking dissatisfied, they released each others’ collars.

Heartmann: “Well, looks like things have calmed down.”

Leonardo: “Uh…Oh yeah! I was hungry! Still am!”

Crowlie: “I will have it prepared immediately. Please, rest in your rooms until then.”

Putting his clothes back in order, Crowlie gave orders to his servants.

Crowlie: “Do see that the guests are taken to their rooms.”

He started walking, with his head facing down, and vanished down the hallway.

Leonardo: “He gonna be okay?”

Heartmann: “Search me…”

Leonardo: “First time I’ve seen Crowlie like that.”

Heartmann: “Me too.”

Oz: “Leave him be. Experience’ll do him good.”

Leonardo: “You’re the one who put him in that mood, King Oz!”

Heartmann: “At least show some remorse!”

(Something seemed really off about him… I wonder if he’ll be all right…?)

5.14

Green-clad Maid: This room is yours, Dorothy. Use it however you see fit.”

The room I was brought to was as wonderful as I had imagined.

Dorothy: “Oh, I love it, thanks!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Green-clad Maid: “I will come to get you once the food is prepared.”

With a polite bow, the maid left the room.

(I just can’t get Crowlie out of my mind…)

Dorothy: “Hey, Toto, what should I do?”

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “I don’t think I’ll be able to calm down if I just sit around here…”

Dorothy: “Toto, want to go looking for Crowlie?” (Intimacy +7)

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto dashed up to the door.

Dorothy: “I’d love to have you with me, Toto.”

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Dorothy: “All right, let’s go hunting for Crowlie!”

I took Toto out of my room.

(Now, the question of the day…just where IS Crowlie..)

After sniffing at the ground, Toto looked at me with a bark.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Quiet, Toto!”

Ignoring me, Toto dashed off.

Dorothy: “Hey, don’t just run off! Get back here!”

I scrambled after Toto.

(He just always does whatever he wants…)

The hallway just went on and on and I couldn’t see the end of it.

(But Crowlie’s somewhere in this massive castle.)

(I want to see him! I want to know what’s on his mind!)

With that desire in my breast, I dashed down the hall after Toto.

Unexpected Side of Crowlie

Wesley: “Hey, Scarecrow, you got a minute?”

Crowlie: “What is it?”

Wesley: “What’s up with that hood on your cloak?”

Crowlie: “The hood on my cloak…?”

Wesley: “Is it what I think it is? Some kind of leftover from when you were a real scarecrow?”

Crowlie: “Oh, this? Well, I’m glad you asked!”

Wesley: “Wait, what…”

Crowlie: “Let you say, this hood is, indeed, an object left over from when I was a scarecrow.”

Crowlie: “However, it is also a magnificently useful item!”

Crowlie: “It protects my head when cold rain falls! And protecting your head means protecting your intellect!”

Crowlie: “And that is not all! You can even use it as a pocket to store small objects!”

Wesley: “Enough, I don’t want to hear anymore!”

Crowlie: “You should wear one too, Wesley!”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around! I don’t need any hood!”

Crowlie: “Most unfortunate… Well, I will take my leave.”

Wesley: “Seriously, how much of a hood fanatic is this guy?!”

Wesley: “I mean, are hoods really something to talk so passionately about…?”

Wesley: “Yeah, I definitely won’t be asking him about hoods ever again…”

Chapter 6: Inefficient Body (13/13)

6.1

No sooner had we gotten to the Emerald City when a large crowd gathered around us, putting us in quite the bind.

It was not Crowlie, however, who calmed down the crowds, but Oz.

Worried about how Crowlie looked after Oz had called him a failure of a king, I was searching for him with Toto.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto, slow down a little!”

The moment he stopped his dash, he sniffed at the ground and then went off again.

Dorothy: “Wait, where are you going, Toto…?”

(You’re not going after that food again, are you…?)

Toto: “Woof, woof!’

Ignoring my worry, however, Toto kept going through the maze-like hallways.

(No one’s going to yell at us, right? For going deeper and deeper into the castle like this?)

Toto had finally stopped, in front of a rather large door.

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto barked my way.

Dorothy: “You want me to open this door?”

The door looked so big and imposing that I got the impression I really shouldn’t open it.

(I wonder what’s inside…?)

Toto: “Woof!”

Though I stood there, hesitant, Toto barked at me again.

Dorothy: “All right, all right…just keep it down, okay?”

I timidly opened up the door to find it unlocked.

Dorothy: “Is anyone here…?”

6.2

I quietly opened the door to find books as far as the eye could see.

Dorothy: “It’s a library! And a huge one, at that!”

Shelves upon shelves lined up in the room, nearly reaching the sky.

(I’ve never seen this many books…!)

I looked closely to see the books were all organized by genre.

Toto: “Sniff, sniff…”

Dorothy: “Wait, Toto…”

Toto walked off again, and I found myself stumbling after him.

(Hey, there’s someone here…)

There was a large desk in the back of the library, with someone reading books at it.

Crowlie: “…”

(Hey, it’s Crowlie!)

It was Crowlie sitting at the desk, reading away.

(Oh, I get it! Toto followed Crowlie’s scent and brought me here!)

I gave Toto a pat on the head.

Dorothy: “Thanks, Toto!”

I quietly walked up to Crowlie, but he was focusing on his book and didn’t notice me.

(Hmm…what should I do?)

(Maybe I shouldn’t interrupt his reading?)

(But since I’ve come all this way, I should probably at least talk to him a little…)

I gently called his name. (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Crowlie…”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie, completely absorbed in his book, didn’t notice me at all.

(Wow, he really knows how to focus! He doesn’t even hear me!)

I tried again, a little louder.

Dorothy: “Crowlie!”

When I called his name, he snapped his head back up.

6.3

Crowlie: “Dorothy!”

Dorothy: “Sorry for interrupting your reading…”

Crowlie: “Not at all…what brings you here?”

He looked at me in surprise.

Dorothy: “I just wanted to talk a little.”

Crowlie: “…Good job finding me here.”

Dorothy: “Toto brought me here.”

Crowlie: “He did?”

Crowlie tilted his head in curiosity and looked at Toto.

Dorothy: “There…really are a lot of books here, huh?”

I looked around. Crowlie let out a small smile.

Crowlie: “I made this library after I became king.”

Dorothy: “You made this, Crowlie?! Wow…!”

Crowlie: “I’ve picked up valuable books from the Emerald City and beyond — from all of Oz.”

He put on a proud face.

Crowlie: “I have a few books from your world, as well. Not too many, though.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

If the pride of Quadlings Castle was its great hall, this library had to fulfill that role for the Emerald Castle.

Crowlie: “I read books here whenever I have free time.”

Dorothy: “Crowlie, you really do like reading.”

6.4

Crowlie: “I can feel at peace here.”

He blushed a little with a smile.

(He really doesn’t show it, but he must be working really hard as king…)

(That’s why this library is Crowlie’s special place.)

Dorothy: “So, what book were you reading?”

Crowlie: “Well, what kind of book do you think it was?”

(He looked like he was getting really into reading it, so…)

(…a book about government, maybe? Since he’s the king?) Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Are you reading about government?”

Crowlie: “Good call, Dorothy.”

Crowlie’s eyes went wide.

Dorothy: “Well, you are the king.”

Crowlie: “I see. A simple connection, but an insightful one. Very much like you, Dorothy.”

Crowlie smiled.

Crowlie: “Politics is certainly difficult…”

Crowlie looked around the library with serious eyes.

Crowlie: “You saw how I lost to Oz, didn’t you?”

Dorothy: “But that was just a math problem. It didn’t have anything to do with ruling.”

However, Crowlie shook his head.

Crowlie: “No, that…that was what Oz considers to be ruling.”

(What does that mean?)

6.5

Crowlie: “Math problems only have one answer, but in politics there are many right answers.”

Crowlie: “And it’s the king’s duty to choose an answer among the many.”

Crowlie: “Choosing incorrectly will only make the people suffer.”

Dorothy: “The king’s got a lot of responsibility, huh?”

(Crowlie’s got a really heavy burden to bear…and he’s taking it head on.)

Crowlie: “What’s important is the process one follows to getting to the right answer.”

Crowlie: “Oz gave me a trick question.”

Dorothy: “A trick question?”

Crowlie: “You have to tackle it thinking calmly, following the right steps to get it right.”

Crowlie: “Oz was right. I lack experience..and can’t apply my knowledge well enough yet.”

Dorothy: “So that’s why you were reading that book on politics?”

Crowlie: “Since studying past examples can make up for my lack of experience.”

Dorothy: “You’re quite studious, Crowlie.”

Crowlie strained out a smile.

Crowlie: “I was given brains. I’ve got to use them.”

Dorothy: “You’d always wanted them, after all.”

Crowlie: “It was Oz who gave me these brains, too. I’m grateful to him.”

(Come to think of it, Heartmann and Leonardo look up to Oz, too.)

Crowlie: “Oz is also a fantastic king. When he ruled this city, he was loved by all.”

Crowlie: “I realized that when I saw him calm down that crowd… I cannot match him in any way, shape or form…”

Dorothy: “Oh, don’t say that. I know how hard you’re working.”

That I could see by looking at how developed the Emerald City had become.

6.6

Crowlie: “I’ve got quite a ways to go, I’m afraid. Since I’ve succeeded Oz, I cannot avoid being compared to him.”

Crowlie: “That’s why I don’t want to fall behind him. I’ve got to accumulate even more knowledge…!”

He spoke as if trying to convince himself.

(Crowlie really feels great responsibility as king…)

(I think that’s really admirable, but…why do I fell so worried when I see him like that…?)

(I just hope he doesn’t push himself too much…)

Crowlie: “Ah, dinner should be ready around now. Perhaps you should return to your room?”

Dorothy: “What will you do, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “I will join everyone, of course, but I’d like to get a little more reading done before then.”

Dorothy: “All right. Well, sorry for interrupting you. I’ll head back to my room.”

Crowlie: “Very well, see you at dinner.”

Crowlie brought his eyes to his book again.

(Phew. Looks like he’s back to normal.)

Dorothy: “Toto, let’s go.”

Toto: “Woof!”

With Toto in tow, I headed out of the library.

Leonardo: “Hey, Dorothy! We were waitin’ on you!”

When dinnertime came around, the maid led me to the dining hall where I found Leonardo, Heartmann and Oz waiting for me.

Heartmann: “I’m sure you couldn’t wait for dinner, Toto.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Hey, where’s Crowlie?”

Crowlie was nowhere to be seen in the dining hall.

Oz: “Some ruler, letting his guests wait.”

Oz sounded like he couldn’t believe it.

(Wait, he’s not still at the library, is he…?)

Dorothy: “I’ll go call him.”

Heartmann: “You know where he is?”

Dorothy: “I think I do… Anyway, I’ll be right back.”

Leonardo: “Hurry back. Gonna die of hunger over here!”

Oz: “This lion’s funeral is the last thing I want to go to before Dorothy’s birthday.”

Dorothy: “Toto, come along.”

Toto: “Woof…”

Hungry Toto came along with me, reluctant.

(Crowlie’s definitely back there. I’m sure of it.)

6.7

Love Choice

Premium: Library (Well-Lit) 400 Coins

Normal: Small Study (Light) 100 Coins/5,000 Spinels

(He’s got to be in here…)

I had come to the great library with Toto.

However, I couldn’t find Crowlie at the desk in the back.

Dorothy: “Huh…? Where’d he go off to…?”

(Is he somewhere else…?)

Yet, I didn’t know anywhere else he’d be.

(I think he’s somewhere around here, though. Maybe he’s farther in the back?)

Dorothy: “Hey, Toto, can you look for Crowlie?”

Toto: “Huf.”

Toto tossed his head off to the side, looking none too eager to help.

Dorothy: “Hey, I know you’re hungry, but you could at least help out a little.”

Toto wasn’t going to help me. I decided to take matters into my own hands.

(This library sure is big…)

As I walked between bookshelves, virtually walls in their size and thickness, I noticed someone in the depths of the archive.

It was Crowlie, sitting on top of a stepladder, reading away.

Veritable mountains of books, stretching high up to the ceiling, surrounded him.

Crowlie: “…”

(He was too absorbed in his book to notice me.)

(Sheesh…so here he is!)

I called his name.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, it’s time for dinner. Everyone’s waiting at the table.”

Crowlie: “Oh…it’s dinner time already?”

He looked up, but his eyes were on the pile of books near me.

(What’s he looking at?)

I followed his eyes to see that the pile of books next to me was leaning over, strained.

Crowlie: “!”

(W-Wait…)

Crowlie: “Look out!”

Crowlie shouted, just as the wall of books started to fall on me.

Dorothy: “Ahhh!”

[Spoiler Warning!] (Chapter 6 CG)

Crowlie: “Dorothy!”

He suddenly leapt down from the stepladder and protectively threw his arms around me.

The library shook from the impact of the crashing books.

Crowlie: “Guh…!”

Letting out a pained groan, Crowlie fell to the book strewn floor.

6.8

Dorothy: “Crowlie?!”

I called his name, but he wouldn’t answer.

(He’s out cold!)

Dorothy: “…!’

Looking at him collapsed on the ground unconscious, I noticed something even more surprising.

(Oh no, he’s hurt!)

He was bleeding from the head.

Dorothy: “Crowlie!”

I softly put my hands on his shoulders and gave him a little shake.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, wake up! You have to open your eyes!

No matter how desperately I pleaded, he kept his eyes shut and didn’t budge an inch.

(I’ve…I’ve got to call someone!)

Dorothy: “Toto, quick, call for help!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto immediately dashed off.

(Oh, he’s hurt so badly… Look at all this blood!)

I pulled out a handkerchief and brought it to the wound on Crowlie’s head.

(He’s not a scarecrow anymore, so he might just..he might just die like this!)

Boundless horror crept over me.

(Crowlie, open your eyes…!)

6.9

I was in Crowlie’s room.

Heartmann and the others had come running to the library after the accident. They’d help carry Crowlie back to his room.

(Please, wake up…)

I peered at Crowlie’s face as he slumbered in bed.

His orderly breaths let me know he was still alive.

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie: “…Hm?”

As I gazed at him with praying eyes, he slowly opened his own.

Dorothy: “Crowlie! You’re awake!”

I let out a sigh of relief at his coming to.

Crowlie: “…Dorothy?”

Still a little out of it, Crowlie slowly looked around him.

Crowlie: “Where am I…?”

Dorothy: “Your room. Do you remember the books falling down on you in the library?”

Crowlie: “Yeah…”

Dorothy: “Everyone carried you back here when you lost consciousness, and we’ve been taking care of you ever since.”

Seeming to have finally realized what happened to him, a look of guilt came over Crowlie’s face.

Crowlie: “It seems I made trouble for everyone…”

Dorothy: “Oh, don’t worry about it.”

His eyes came to mine.

6.10

Crowlie: “Dorothy, have you been…at my bedside this whole time?”

Dorothy: “Well, I was worried.”

Crowlie: “Oh…thank you.”

Those clear eyes of his looked right at me.

Dorothy: “I’m the one who should be thanking you. You saved me from those falling books.”

Crowlie: “Glad to see you aren’t hurt, Dorothy.”

Crowlie: “Though I must admit, it would be preferable to have saved you gallantly, rather than end up with a book on my head…”

He strained out a smile.

Dorothy: “…Oh! Moreover, you know what the maid told me?”

Crowlie: “What…?”

Dorothy: “That she often finds you collapsed in the library!”

Crowlie: “Oh, that? I usually get absorbed in books and end up…forgetting to sleep. To eat, too.”

Dorothy: “You can’t just forgo sleep and meals!”

Crowlie: “But as king, I have to gain more knowledge…”

Dorothy: “Don’t forget that you’re a human before you’re king.

Crowlie: “What…?”

Dorothy: “Human bodies get hurt, you know? They bleed, they get tired, they get hungry…you need to remember that.”

Crowlie: “…You’re…you’re right. Human bodies certain are…inefficient.”

Dorothy: “Inefficient?”

Crowlie: “When I was a scarecrow, I needed neither sleep nor food. I could read as long as I wanted.”

Crowlie: “Compared to that, this body is inefficient…though I do prefer it.”

Crowlie: “Were I still made of straw, I would not have been able to protect you from the avalanche of books.”

He let out a small smile.

Dorothy: “Was that a joke?”

6.11

Crowlie: “…Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “You’re a human now! If you keep getting hurt, if you keep pushing yourself, you’re going to die!”

Crowlie: “…!”

Dorothy: “I was so worried, Crowlie…I was worried you’d die!”

I remembered how worried I was when the book fell on his head and tears started flowing from my eyes.

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

Dorothy: “Heartmann and Leonardo and the servants and the maids and the guards are all worried about you, too.”

Crowlie: “…”

Dorothy: “Whether you’re human or a scarecrow, Crowlie…”

Dorothy: “…just don’t forget people are worried about you.”

Dorothy: “Think of them a little more.”

Crowlie: “…!”

Dorothy: “And treat yourself a little better.”

Crowlie: “It’s just like Oz said, I really am a fool…”

Crowlie: “I was making everyone worried, and I didn’t realize the most important thing…”

Crowlie: “I just kept trying to acquire knowledge, without trying to understand people’s hearts…”

Crowlie: “It seems I’ve failed as a king, then.”

Crowlie pulled his eyes away from mine.

Dorothy: “I don’t think you’ve failed if you’ve realized that.”

He turned his eyes back to me in surprise.

6.12

Dorothy: “Everyone makes mistakes, but we can learn from them.”

Crowlie: “You mean I still have a chance…?”

Dorothy: “Of course you do. Everyone wants you to become a wonderful king, Crowlie.”

Crowlie’s clear eyes then housed in them a powerful conviction.

(I know Crowlie’s going to become a wonderful king. I believe it.)

Right then, however, my stomach growled.

(Whoa! Talk about bad timing…!)

Crowlie: “Have you not eaten?”

Dorothy: “Well, I was…I was just so worried that I couldn’t leave you, and…”

Crowlie: “Now, we can’t have that. What would you like to eat?”

Dorothy: “A sweet treat, I guess.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Well, I needn’t call for that. I have some here.”

Crowlie pointed to a silver tin of sweets on top of his table.

Dorothy: “Wow, these look great!”

I opened the tin up to find it full of cookies and candies.

Crowlie: “They’re my emergency rations, you could say. Hard to sleep on an empty stomach, isn’t it?”

Dorothy: “I think you should have some in the library, too.”

Crowlie: “Oh! Good idea!”

Dorothy: “I felt so relieved to see that you woke up, I think my stomach woke up, too.”

Crowlie: “Go ahead, have all you want.”

This time, Crowlie’s stomach growled.

6.13

Crowlie: “O-Oh…”

Dorothy: “Looks like you’re hungry, too.”

Crowlie: “A human body doesn’t lie…”

Dorothy: “Haha… Well, let’s eat together.”

Right when we were about to get down to enjoying the sweets together, something flew at us through the window.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto! Where’d you come from?!”

Toto launched himself at the sweets with reckless abandon.

Crowlie: “Toto! No!”

Crowlie and I desperately tried to stop him.

Toto: “Om nom…” *gulp*!

Dorothy: “Hey! Give us some, too!”

Toto: *crunch crunch crunch*!

Toto jammed his head into the tin and devoured the treats without a care in the world.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, I’ve rescued a cookie!”

Crowlie held up a cookie.

Toto: *Burp*… *munch munch*…

Toto, however, snatched it away in an instant.

Crowlie: “Whoa! M-My cookie…!”

(Why does this always happen?!)

The battle over the treats raged on.

Toto: *burp*!

Behind the Scenes

Leonardo: “Ahhhh! I can’t believe I lost! I went over 21!”

Crowlie: “That was an awfully quick bust, Leonardo…”

Oz: “Not a half bad way to pass the time, getting all the guys together to play blackjack.”

Wesley: “No cheating, got it?”

Heartmann: “I turn that back to you. No divination, okay?”

Solomon: “Hit me.”

Norton: “Very well.”

Crowlie: “Lord Norton sure seems laid back… Well, he is the dealer…”

Oz: “The dealer’s advantage is a pretty basic principle of card games, after all.”

Heartmann: “Let’s do this. Hit me.”

Wesley: “Me, too!”

Heartmann: “Gah, a bust…!”

Wesley: “Tch…I busted, too.”

Crowlie: “Basic strategy calls for the necessary cards to still be present in the deck.”

Crowlie: “However, with all the aces on the field, you don’t want to double down on a ten point hand…”

Crowlie: “So I can only keep the cards I have! I’ll stand here!”

Oz: “The fun part of this game is it’s all about memory! Hit me!”

Solomon: “Oh, so you don’t need to worry your head with complicated things. Hit me.”

Heartmann: “Crowlie, calculating his moves with probabilities… The Great Oz, seasoned in card games…”

Leonardo: “And Lord Solomon, skilled and lucky in everything he does… This is gonna be a real fight.”

Norton: “Cards open. I have 20.”

Crowlie: “19…I lost…”

Oz: “I’m a 19, too. Good game.”

Solomon: “Haha… And I win with 21.”

Leonardo: “Whoa…”

Norton: “Why the blank looks, everyone?”

Crowlie: “Is there anything Lord Solomon cannot do…?”

Solomon: “Haha, perhaps, perhaps not.”

Chapter 7: Seeds of Jealousy (12/12)

7.1

The next day, a little worried about Crowlie, I headed to his room.

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto, who’d been walking with me, barked facing the end of the hallway.

Walking from the end of the hall was Crowlie and his servants.

Crowlie: “Hello there, Dorothy. Manage to get any sleep?”

He greeted me with his usual smile.

Dorothy: “Like a baby. Are you all right to be walking around?”

Crowlie: “I feel like a new man, thanks to your help.”

I couldn’t see the wound on his head through his hair, but he looked well.

(Phew! Looks like he’s gotten better.)

Then, Crowlie drew his face to mine and whispered.

Crowlie: “The treat battle was good rehabilitation, too.”

I burst out laughing.

Dorothy: “Being able to joke is good proof that you’re healthy again.”

Servant: “Dorothy please stay by King Crowlie’s side.”

(Huh…?)

Maid: “We worry that King Crowlie may collapse once again.”

Crowlie: “Hey…”

Maid: “But if you are with him, Dorothy, we can put our minds at ease.”

Hearing that, I couldn’t help but blush a little.

7.2

Dorothy: “What? Oh, I can’t…”

Crowlie: “I will be fine. Really. You needn’t worry.”

Crowlie spoke with conviction in his eyes.

(I’ll believe in him, I’ll believe in those eyes!)

Right then, Heartmann came running to us, seeming a little panicked.

Heartmann: “Crowlie, are you all right now?”

Crowlie: “Sorry to make you worry. I’m fine.”

Leonardo: “Good to hear! Don’t push yourself, all right?”

Oz: “And say, I hear Solomon’s coming. That true?”

(Solomon’s coming?)

Crowlie: “It is. I’m on my way to go receive him.”

Dorothy: “Then I’ll come with you.”

Leonardo: “Count us in, too.”

Crowlie: “All right, let us all go see him, then.”

Heartmann: “You’ll come to, I trust, Great Oz?”

Oz: “If you all can’t be without my company, then.”

With that, we ended up going out to meet Solomon.

We stepped out of the castle to see a large crowd of people outside.

Leonardo: “Whoa, what’s up with this crowd?!”

Heartmann: “So many people…!”

I couldn’t help blinking at the sheer mass of people. People as far as the eye could see.

7.3

Dorothy: “Why are there so many people here…?”

Crowlie: “It seems that word of Solomon’s arrival has spread throughout the city.”

Oz: “Sheesh…”

Then, I saw a golden carriage drawn by white horses advancing towards us.

Leonardo: “Whoa, that carriage’s gotta be…!”

Crowlie: “It seems Solomon has arrived.”

The crowd cheered at the carriage’s arrival.

The carriage stopped right in front of us, and out came Norton.

The crowd’s cheering got even louder, covering the Emerald City.

Norton: “My, what a welcome.”

Young Man: “It’s the Wizard of the North, Norton!”

Young Woman: “Ohmygosh! Norton, over here!”

Leonardo: “Norton’s pretty popular too, huh…”

Oz: “As long as they’re handsome, huh…”

Then, when Solomon emerged from the carriage, the cheers got even greater.

Older Man: “Lord Solomon! Lord Solomon’s come to the Emerald City!”

Older Woman: “Ohmygosh! Lord Solomon, over here!”

Elderly Man: “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!”

Little Girl: “Lord Solomon! Can I have your autograph?!”

(Wow…!)

7.4

Solomon: “Such a bustling city. Wonderful!”

Solomon answered the crowd with a smile.

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon, Lord Norton, welcome to the Emerald City.”

Solomon: “Welcoming me with all the people of the city? That’s quite the greeting.”

(Actually, everyone came out by themselves, but…)

Solomon: “Dorothy, are you enjoying the Emerald City?”

Dorothy: “Very much. So what brings you here, Solomon?”

Solomon: “I came to see how you were doing. We’re all here for your birthday, after all. I found myself curious about how you were.”

???: “…Tch, why’d you have to drag me along?”

Another man stepped down from the carriage.

(Hey, it’s Wesley!)

Wesley: “And here’s the Wizard of the West. What, no fanfare?”

Leonardo: “What’s Wesley doing here…?!”

We weren’t the only ones surprised.

Young Man: “Hey, look! It’s the Wizard of the West!”

Older Woman: “That horrible, evil villain?”

A wave of unease passed through the crowd.

Older Man: “But I heard he had fallen!”

Young Woman: “Why is he with Lord Solomon?!”

The unease turned to doubt, and panic started to take the crowd.

7.5

Heartmann: “Uh oh…they’re going to get out of control again!”

Leonardo: “There’s a lot more people than yesterday, too! This isn’t gonna end well!”

(How can we calm everyone down…?! Who should I ask?)

(I know, Crowlie can handle it! He should be able to calm them down this time!) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Crowlie, can you calm down the crowd?”

Crowlie: “Of course. I intend to.”

Oz: “Think you can handle it, Scarecrow?”

Crowlie: “I am the king of this city. I must.”

Dorothy: “I believe in you, Crowlie!”

I could tell from the sheer determination in his eyes that he would be able to calm the crowds down.

Crowlie took a step forward and threw open his arms.

Crowlie: “Quiet, everyone!”

His noble voice made the masses quiet down a little.

Crowlie: “Why does the Wizard of the West once more draw breath? Why is he with Lords Solomon and Norton?”

Crowlie: “I will give you your answer!”

(You can do it, Crowlie…!)

Crowlie: “For the sake of celebrating Dorothy’s birthday, in his infinite mercy, Lord Solomon has revived the Wizard of the West.”

The crowd calmed down even further, and everyone’s eyes gathered on Crowlie.

Crowlie: “The Wizard of the West, too, is no longer the fearsome being he once was.”

Crowlie: “That is because we now know of his weakness!”

Crowlie: “He can be defeated at any time!”

Wesley: “Tch…!”

7.6

Crowlie: “And since he wishes to celebrate Dorothy’s birthday alongside us, let us, too, open our hearts and accept him!”

Oz: “Heh…”

Crowlie looked to Wesley.

Crowlie: “Wizard of the West, let us wash our hands of the past.”

He put extra emphasis on “wash”.

Wesley: “Tch…!”

And Wesley looked none too pleased.

(Well, Wesley IS weak to water.)

Young Man: “But what if the Wizard of the West does something bad again?”

Crowlie: “You needn’t worry. I, the king, will protect my city and my people! That is why I am here!”

(Oh, Crowlie, you’re so cool!)

Older Man: “He’s right! We’ve got King Crowlie!”

Young Man: “Long live the king!”

Cheers at Crowlie’s name filled the crowd.

They spread and spread until they had covered all of the Emerald City.

Solomon: “Most impressive, Crowlie. As one would expect from the king of Emerald City.”

Crowlie: “I am honored.”

Crowlie smiled a relieved smile.

Leonardo: “That was awesome, Crowlie!”

Heartmann: “Looks like we don’t need to worry anymore.”

Leonardo and Heartmann patted Crowlie on the shoulders.

7.7

Oz: “Scarecrow… I mean, Crowlie. Not bad.”

Crowlie: “Oz, I learned a lot from you. Allow me to say thanks.”

Oz: “W-What? I wasn’t trying to…”

(Haha… It’s not every day you get to see Oz blush like that.)

Crowlie: “Thank you, Dorothy.”

Crowlie looked right at me with those clear eyes of his.

Dorothy: “Huh…?”

Crowlie: “You helped me notice something important.”

I nodded with a smile, happy at the compliment.

(I’m glad I believed in him!)

Norton: “With that settled, I bid you take us into the castle.”

Crowlie: “Oh, forgive the delay. Right this way, then.”

Solomon: “They say you have created a great library in this castle, do they not?”

Crowlie: “Oh, I would love to show it to you. Please, right this way.”

With Crowlie and Solomon at the head, we all started heading to the great library.

When I started to move with them, however, Norton stopped me.

Norton: “Dorothy, over here, if you would.”

Dorothy: “Yes? What is it?”

Norton took me to the edge of the hall, then brought his face close to mine.

7.8

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 8,800

Norton: “It seems things are going well with Crowlie.”

Dorothy: “They are…”

(Huh? Is it just me, or is Norton acting a little strange…?)

He peered into my face with sharp eyes.

Norton: “Have you kissed him already?”

(W-Wait, what?)

(I should just come clean…)

Dorothy: “I haven’t kissed him yet.” (Intimacy +7)

Norton: “You have not? Ah. Good to hear.”

For some reason, he put on a pleased smile.

Norton: “A maiden’s first kiss is quite important, after all.”

Norton: “Wouldn’t you agree?”

Dorothy: “Y-Yeah…”

(What, he was worried about me?)

However, the eyes Norton cast on me were cold.

Norton: “Do you remember when we first met?”

Dorothy: “I do, but…what about it?”

Norton: “On the occasion of our first meeting, I kissed you on the forehead.”

(Oh yeah, he did…!)

A kiss from the Wizard of the North was incredibly valuable as a protective spell.

Norton: “You haven’t forgotten that, have you?”

7.9

Norton touched the front of my hair, and his fingers slid gently across my forehead.

Dorothy: “But, wait…”

Norton: “It means that I am the first one to have kissed you, Dorothy.”

(Does it…really mean that?)

Dorothy: “Oh, b-but! I was just a little girl back then, and I needed that protective spell on me!”

I quickly denied the motion.

Norton: “Yet, you were kissed by me. That reality is unmoving.

Dorothy: “Well…”

Norton: “You remember the feeling of my lips, don’t you?”

Dorothy: “…!”

I remembered the moment, and a rush of embarrassment came to my face.

(Wh-Why’s he making me remember that…?!)

(Help! Someone, anyone!)

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto!”

Toto came running.

Toto: “Grrrr!”

Toto growled at Norton.

Norton: “Does this dog fancy himself your knight?”

It wasn’t just Toto who came running to my aid.

7.10

Crowlie: “Please, remove yourself form Dorothy!”

Crowlie had come, too.

Norton: “…”

Norton pulled away from me.

Crowlie: “Over here, Dorothy.”

I ran up to him.

Crowlie: “Are you all right?”

Dorothy: “I am, thanks.”

Satisfied I was all right, Crowlie glared at Norton.

Crowlie: “Lord Norton, what is the meaning of this?”

Norton: “It appears you have entirely the wrong idea.”

Crowlie: “The wrong idea…?”

Norton: “Dorothy is but only 17 years of age. I was simply worried about her lack of…romantic experience.”

He spoke as he always did. I couldn’t feel that coldness from him anymore.

Norton: “So, where might Lord Solomon and the others be?”

Crowlie: “They went ahead to the library. Heartmann showed them the way.”

Norton: “I see…well, I must follow suit, then.”

Crowlie: “A just course. Lord Solomon has called for you.”

Norton: “As, so he has. I shall hurry, then.”

Norton briskly walked off.

(Phew…!)

7.11

Crowlie: “Are you truly unharmed?”

He looked at me with concerned eyes.

Dorothy: “I’m fine. He just scared me a little. Thanks for coming to help!”

Crowlie: “Toto tugged at my leg, so I noticed you had fallen behind.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: :”Thanks, Toto.”

Crowlie: “Now just why was Lord Norton doing such a thing…?”

Dorothy: “Did you hear what we were talking about?”

Crowlie: “A little, yes…though I had no intention of eavesdropping.”

Dorothy: “Oh, you needn’t worry about that. That’s how you helped me, after all.”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie suddenly fell silent and started thinking about something.

Dorothy: “What’s wrong?”

Crowlie: “Oh, nothing much, I just…thought of how Lord Norton had met you before I did.”

Dorothy: “I did. He was the first person I met when I came to Oz.”

He’s the one who told me I could get back to Kansas if I met Oz, too.”

As I went looking for him, I met Crowlie.

Crowlie: “Right…I had completely forgotten.”

Dorothy: “You had?”

Crowlie: “I had just thought I was the first one to meet you…”

A hint of disappointment took to his face.

(I wonder why he looks so disappointed…?)

Dorothy: “Are you…jealous?” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Wh-What?!”

Dorothy: “And maybe think that I like Norton since I met him first?”

Crowlie: “N-No…of course not.”

His face, however, went beet red.

Dorothy: “Oh, come on, out with it.”

Crowlie: “W-Well, I…!”

7.12

Dorothy: “But, you know…Norton seemed a little different from normal.”

Crowlie: “Really?”

Dorothy: “I’m not too sure…maybe I’m just imagining things…?”

Crowlie: “Is Lord Norton on your mind?”

Dorothy: “Sort of…”

Crowlie: “Oh… Well, we should go, too. Lord Solomon is waiting for us.”

Dorothy: “You’re right.”

We started walking towards the library.

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie seemed to have something on his mind as we walked.

(Is he still worried about what just happened?)

Dorothy: “Hey, about what just happened…”

Crowlie: “Hm? What about it?”

Dorothy: “The reason you mistook how soon you met me…was it because you met me before Heartmann and Leonardo?”

Crowlie: “True… They weren’t around when I met you.”

Crowlie: “So that’s…probably why.”

His answer seemed just a little awkward.

(Is it really that important that he met me first…?)

Strange. I found Crowlie’s demeanor very…strange.

Crowlie’s Favorite Activity

Dorothy: “Hey Crowlie, what’s your favorite thing to do?”

Crowlie: “My favorite thing to do? Hmm…”

Crowlie: “You know, when it comes down to it, it has to be reading books.”

Dorothy: “What kind of books?”

Crowlie: “Medical texts, history books, mathematical books, legal texts…I read a lot of things, regardless of genre.”

Crowlie: “I’ve collected the books in this library from all over the land.”

Dorothy: “Have you read them all?”

Crowlie: “I’ve only read about half of them, but I intend to read them all.”

Dorothy: “You don’t read…comics, do you?”

Crowlie: “Oh, I do. I particularly like superhero comics!”

Dorothy: “That’s a bit of a relief to hear.”

Crowlie: “I can’t make fun of comics. Not when they help build your imagination so much.”

Dorothy: “When someone as book smart as you says it, it really sounds convincing.”

Crowlie: “Using the knowledge I’ve gained from science books, I want to become a superhero myself!”

Dorothy: “Wh-What…?!”

Crowlie: “A big, macho guy with a hooded cape! That would be so cool!”

Dorothy: “Haha…well, I hope that works out for you.”

Chapter 8: First Person I Met (11/11)

8.1

After we had shown Solomon and the others around the library, we threw a banquet to welcome him to the city.

Solomon: “Now this tastes fantastic!”

Right when I thought Crowlie would smile at Solomon’s satisfaction with his food…

Crowlie: “…”

(Oh, Crowlie, are you lost in thought again?)

Dorothy: “U-Um… We have really great cooks at the castle!”

I answered in his place.

Solomon: “It appears so. Perhaps we should arrange a contest with the cooks of Quadlings as well.”

Norton: “Oh, Lord Solomon.”

Norton looked a little taken aback.

Wesley: “A contest with kitchen knives in hand…sounds fascinating.”

Leonardo: “Wrong idea, wrong idea. And I wouldn’t mind being a judge in that contest!”

Heartmann: “Leonardo, don’t take his joke seriously.”

Leonardo: “Wait, really?”

Oz: “Some cats just don’t learn.”

Though everyone was enjoying their meal, Crowlie sat there blank-faced.

Leonardo: “What’s wrong, Crowlie?”

8.2

Crowlie snapped back to his senses.

Crowlie: “Oh, um… Leonardo, don’t spill your soup!”

Leonardo: “Ah?!”

Crowlie: “You are in the presence of Lord Solomon. You need to mind your manners more than usual.”

Leonardo: “Hey, don’t shout out of nowhere like that! You made me spill even more!”

Leonardo wiped down the spilled soup with his napkin.

Heartmann: “Still not used to the human body, huh?”

Heartmann backed him up.

Crowlie: “…”

(Weird. Feels like he’s harsher than normal on Leonardo…)

(Am I the only one who thinks that? I think I’ll check with someone…but who should I ask?)

(Heartmann’s pretty sharp. Maybe he’s noticed something.) (Intimacy +7)

I whispered my question to him.

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann, do you notice anything weird about Crowlie?”

Heartmann: “Hm? I don’t think there’s anything off about him…”

Dorothy: “Well, he keeps thinking about something and I feel like he’s being harsh on Leonardo…”

Heartmann: “Are you sure you’re not just imagining it? I think he just wants to keep a tight ship in front of Lord Solomon.”

Leonardo: “What are you guys talking about?”

Leonardo invited himself into the conversation

Heartmann: “Nothing. And hey, you’re spilling your soup again.”

Leonardo: “Nuts, seriously?!”

Dorothy: “Oh, Leonardo…”

8.3

We all burst out laughing, and my eyes met with Crowlie’s, who had been staring at us.

Crowlie: “…”

(Oh, were we loud…?)

Right when our eyes met, Crowlie looked away.

Crowlie: “U-Um… Lord Solomon, how are you finding the food?”

Solomon: “It’s quite delicious, as I said before.”

Crowlie:” O-Oh…so you did. Ah…!”

Seemingly a little out of it, Crowlie dropped his fork.

A servant immediately brought another fork.

Heartmann: “Are you all right, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “You needn’t worry about me…”

He spoke quietly, but gave off an air of irritation.

Heartmann: “Crowlie…?”

Crowlie: “Oh, nothing… Please, don’t worry about me.”

(Something really seems strange about him…)

Heartmann: “Well…all right, then.”

Leonardo: “Still feeling weak, Crowlie?”

8.4

Norton: “Weak? Has something happened?”

Oz: “He had an accident in the library.”

(True…)

Solomon: “It does seem like the wardrobe of the Quadlings Castle…”

Crowlie: “It doesn’t measure up at all, my lord. More importantly, Lord Solomon, what are you planning on doing next?”

Solomon: “I just came to see how Dorothy was doing, so I’ll be heading back to Quadlings.”

Dorothy: “Really? You’re going home already?”

Solomon: “I do have to get ready to celebrate your birthday.”

Wesley: “And think of things from my perspective, too!”

Norton: “Did you say something?”

Wesley: “Nothing, nothing… Hm…?”

Toto: “…”

Wesley looked at his feet to see Toto holding up his hind leg.

Wesley: “Whoa…?!”

He leapt up in surprise.

Dorothy: “Toto! Bad dog!”

Toto: “…”

Toto dropped his leg and left the dining hall.

8.5

Wesley: “That was close…!”

Wesley wiped the sweat from his brow.

Oz: “A hair’s breadth from annihilation, huh?”

Oz smirked and took a sip of his tea.

Everyone burst out laughing, and Oz turned red.

Wesley: “Hey! Don’t laugh at me!”

Crowlie was laughing along with us, but I still couldn’t get how he was acting a little while ago out of my mind.

(Is he really…okay…?)

After we’d seen off Solomon and the others heading back to Quadlings, I still couldn’t stop thinking about Crowlie.

(Maybe I should check on him a little?)

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto, do you want to come with me?”

Toto: “Woof!”

He replied with a bark and a wag of his tail.

Dorothy: “Well, let’s go!”

Toto and I started on our way to Crowlie’s room.

8.6

I knocked at his door, then opened it. Crowlie looked at me with a curious tilt of his head.

Crowlie: “Dorothy? What brings you here?”

Dorothy: “I was just a little worried…”

Crowlie: “Worried? About what?”

Dorothy: “Well…you seemed a little different from usual, so…”

Crowlie: “I did…?”

He looked a little surprised, but he quickly put his smile back on.

Crowlie: “You certainly are a worrywart, Dorothy. You don’t need to follow up on everything the servants say.”

The servants and maids had told me they wanted me to be with Crowlie.

(He looks like he’s back to normal, but…)

(I’d better make sure. For real. But, how…?)

Crowlie: “Is something the matter?”

(I know! We should go out somewhere! It’ll be easier to talk if we’re alone.)

(I’ve got to find a reason to go out, though. Hm…what should I…?)

(I know, I could ask him to show me around town!) (Intimacy +7)

(Leonardo and the others are in the castle, so we can’t be alone in here.)

Dorothy: “Hey, Crowlie, can you show me around town?”

Crowlie: “Of course. It would be my pleasure.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

Crowlie: “To tell the truth, I was wondering how I should invite you on a date…since I’m note quite used to these matters.”

Crowlie let out a shy smile.

(He was? Well, that works out perfectly!)

Dorothy: “Well, let’s get going, then.”

8.7

Crowlie: “Then let’s be off.”

Dorothy: “Oh, could…could you wait for a little?”

Crowlie: “Certainly.”

Dorothy: “Since we’re going out together, I want to look my best.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

Crowlie looked a little bashful at my wish.

Crowlie: “I can’t say I have enough to match Lord Solomon’s wardrobe, but there are quite a few clothes in this castle.”

Crowlie: “Please, wear what you like.”

Dorothy: “I think I will! I’l hurry and change.”

Crowlie: “You needn’t hurry. I’ll be waiting outside the castle.”

Dorothy: “Thank you.”

I left Crowlie’s room and hurried to my own.

I called my maid friend and decided to have her help me with my changing.

Green-clad Maid: “Are you going out with King Crowlie?”

Dorothy: “Yeah. What outfit do you think would look best?”

Green-clad Maid: “I do believe King Crowlie is fond of clothes that have a certain cuteness to them.”

Dorothy: “Oh, really?”

With that, I looked through the clothes for a cute outfit.

8.8

Love Choice

Premium: Lace and Ribbon Dress (Blue) 500 Coins

Normal: French Maid Dress (Blue) 200 Coins/8,000 Spinels

After changing, I hurried to Crowlie outside the castle.

Dorothy: “Sorry for the wait, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “Oh, not at… Oh…”

Crowlie looked a little surprised to see me.

(Wait, did I…pick the wrong clothes?)

Dorothy: “How do I look…?”

Crowlie: “Wonderful!”

He answered with a red face.

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 8 CG

Dorothy: “Really?”

Crowlie: “Very much so. That outfit looks very cute on you.”

He seemed moved by my ensemble.

(It’s just like the maid said… I have to remember to thank her.)

Dorothy: “Phew, I was worried that you wouldn’t like them.”

Crowlie: “You don’t need to worry, not at all. That outfit looks fantastic on you.”

Dorothy: “Thanks. I’m glad you like them.”

Crowlie: “Well, let’s be off.”

Dorothy: “Oh, hang on a minute…”

I looked at Toto, moving to come with us.

Dorothy: “Toto, I need you to listen.”

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “You’re a good boy, so can you keep watch back in the room?”

Toto: “Huff…”

Toto looks away in refusal.

I brought my face closer to his and whispered.

Dorothy: “Please? I really want to be alone with Crowlie.”

Toto: “…”

Dorothy: “I’m trying to get to the bottom of how Crowlie feels, so could you help me out here?”

Toto: “…”

Dorothy: “And I’ll buy you a nice treat on the way back, too.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto wagged his little tail as hard as he could.

(Phew… All right, now we’ll be alone.)

Crowlie spoke up as he saw Toto head back to the room.

Crowlie: “I wouldn’t mind Toto tagging along…”

Dorothy: “Well, it’s our first date. I think Toto can stand to sit this one out in the room.”

Crowlie started blushing again.

Crowlie: “R-Right…”

Dorothy: “So, are we walking?”

I looked around to see no carriage.

Crowlie: “It’s easier to see the town that way.”

It seemed a lot like Crowlie to walk around without any guards in tow.

Dorothy: “True, true.”

Crowlie: “Well, let us be off.”

8.9

Crowlie had brought me to a clearing in the center of the town.

Dorothy: “It really is nice and busy here.”

There were all sorts of shops here and there, with crowds of people going all about.

I wasn’t able to see it too well with all the chaos of yesterday, but I really noticed the zest of the town.

Crowlie: “That bakery over there is quite popular. The shoe shop next to it, too, is rather well regarded.”

Crowlie explained the shops, pointing as he went.

Dorothy: “Wow, there’s a fortuneteller, too. It feels kind of like a festival out here…”

Crowlie: “She’s rather popular for her accuracy.”

Then, a performer came along and started to juggle a few balls.

Dorothy: “Wow! Cool!”

A small band played pleasant, upbeat music in front of a nearby cafe.

A few kids were dancing to the music, as well.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, your hand…”

Dorothy: “Hm?”

When I held out my hand, Crowlie took it in his and began to dance.

Dorothy: “You’re quite good at leading, Crowlie.”

As he led my steps, the nearby children started to dance with us, too.

The people looking at us from afar started to clap with the beat, smiling all the way.

Older Woman: “They truly do look wonderful together.”

Older Man: “They’ll probably get married, too!”

I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed, hearing that.

8.10

I took a glance at Crowlie to see him enjoying himself in dance.

(It doesn’t look like anything’s wrong with him…)

Crowlie: “Shall we rest a little?”

Dorothy: “Good idea. That sudden dance has got me thirsty.”

Crowlie: “What would you like to drink?”

(I could go for a nice, cold drink…)

Dorothy: “I know, I’d like some orange juice!” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “I know a store that sells the freshest and the finest.”

Dorothy: “Great! Let’s go there.”

Crowlie: “The owner, rather known for his strength, squeezes the Quadlings oranges himself to make the juice.”

Crowlie: “It’s known as the tastiest orange juice in all of Oz.”

Dorothy: “That sounds wonderful!”

Crowlie: “Please wait here, then. I’ll go and buy it.”

Crowlie dashed off to get the orange juice.

(Feels kind of like he’s a lot more energetic than usual…)

(He’s not losing himself in thought anymore, either… Maybe I was just imagining things?)

As I mulled over that, Crowlie came back with juice in both hands.

Crowlie: “Apologies for the wait.”

I noticed drops of sweat running down Crowlie’s forehead as he held out the juice.

8.11

(He didn’t need to hurry THAT much…)

Dorothy: “Thanks. Sorry for, uh…using a king like a servant.”

Crowlie: “Not at all. Before you, Dorothy, I am but a man.”

Dorothy: “Aww! I’m glad to hear that.”

Crowlie: “Really?”

Dorothy: “Well, you and Heartmann and Leonardo…you all went and became kings.”

Dorothy: “But since you treat me like you did back then, well…it makes me think that we really are all friends.”

Crowlie: “…I…I see.”

A dark shadow suddenly overtook Crowlie’s face.

Dorothy: “Is something wrong?”

Crowlie looked away and whispered.

Crowlie: “It was I who met you first, right…?”

(Huh…?)

Crowlie: “So it should be I who spent the most time with you…”

With a pained expression on his face, Crowlie was in deep thought once again.

(…Crowlie?)

In my mind, the bustling sounds of the town had all but vanished.

Crowlie’s Date Plan

Oz: “Crowlie, got a minute?”

Crowlie: “Oh, Oz…what do you need?”

Oz: “Dorothy picked you as her romantic partner, right? So what are you going to do?”

Crowlie: “What am I going to…do?”

Oz; “I’m asking you what kind of date are you going to take her on, man!”

Crowlie: “Well, I was thinking of taking her to a place with really nice treats, or a place with a really good view…”

Oz: “Wait, are you seriously saying that? Seriously?”

Crowlie: “Are those poor ideas?”

Oz: “Those sound like the most basic of basic things you’d find in a magazine or something!”

Oz; “It lacks pizzazz, it lacks zest! *sigh* …lamentable, I tell you.”

Crowlie: “Guh…! Well, then, what type of date should I take her out on?”

Oz: “Well, now…”

Norton: “Actually, I think your initial ideas are fine.”

Crowlie: “Lord Norton, when did you get here?!”

Oz: “Were you eavesdropping?”

Norton: “For a girl as inexperienced in the ways of love as Dorothy, I do believe the basics would be best. Heh heh…”

Oz: “That laugh’s telling me something I don’t like…”

Crowlie: “I cannot lose to you two! I’ve got to look into other date ideas!”

Oz: “Wait, what are you getting all excited for?”

Chapter 9: Very First Jealousy (13/13)

9.1

Crowlie: “It was I who met you first, right?”

(What…?)

Crowlie: “So it has to be I who spent the most time with you.”

With a pained expression on his face, Crowlie was in deep thought once again.

(Crowlie, what are you talking about…?)

When our eyes met, Crowlie jolted back to his senses.

Crowlie: “Oh, um…How’s the juice?”

Dorothy: “…It’s delicious. I can see why people like it.”

Crowlie: “Glad to hear it. Shall we walk a little?”

Speaking with a smile, Crowlie started moving.

(He…hasn’t noticed that I haven’t even taken a sip…)

As we walked through the town side by side, I peeked at him through the corner of my eye.

Crowlie: “…”

I expected a smile, but found that he was back in thought, his expression no less pained than last time.

(I knew it, something’s wrong with Crowlie…)

Dorothy: “Oh, that’s right. I need to buy something for Toto.”

9.2

Crowlie: “For Toto…? Oh, that’s right. He must be looking forward to it.”

Crowlie answered me with his usual smile.

Crowlie: “So, what do you think he would like?”

Dorothy: “Something sweet, I think. I can take a bite out of whatever I buy, too.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “That sounds a lot like you, thinking up a mutually beneficial gift.”

(Sounds like Crowlie usually does…)

(Maybe he’d just made a mistake a while ago?)

Dorothy: “Do you know any shops that sell nice treats?”

Crowlie: “Indeed. Allow me to take you there.”

Crowlie walked alongside me with a smile, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how he would keep losing himself in thought.

(I should probably clear things up…)

(But how can I bring it up?)

Crowlie: “Those treats certainly look good.”

Dorothy: “I’m sure Toto will love them.”

When we left the store, sweets in hand, Crowlie looked around the area.

Crowlie: “Well, then…where she we be off to next?”

9.3

(I want to figure out what’s going on with him while we’re still on this date, but..do I have that kind of time?)

Dorothy: “Are you sure you don’t need to go back to the castle just yet?”

Crowlie: “What?”

He looked at me, a little surprised.

Crowlie: “Why…do you ask?”

Dorothy: “Well, I was wondering if you had any, um, kingly duties to attend.”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie suddenly fell silent.

(Did I say something strange…?)

Keeping his eyes away, he replied with a little moodiness on his voice.

Crowlie: “Is there a reason you wish to hurry back?”

Dorothy: “Wh-What?”

Crowlie: “Perhaps someone you would like to see is back at the castle?”

Dorothy: “Well, no, not exactly…”

Crowlie: “Then allow me to show you a bit more of the town.”

Crowlie started walking.

(Something’s…really strange about him.)

Time coldly passed on, and I couldn’t find any footholds to ask why he had been so thorny.

9.4

By the time we’d gotten back to the castle, the sun had set.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, did you enjoy yourself?”

Dorothy: “Did I ever? Thank you for showing me around town.”

(I didn’t get to ask why Crowlie was acting to strange, though…)

Toto: “Woof woof!”

Toto came running towards us.

Dorothy: “Hey there, Toto. Did you keep watch like a good dog?”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “I brought you some treats. Let’s have them back in the room, okay?”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Crowlie picked them out for us. Right, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “…”

(He’s still thinking of something…just what’s he so worried about?)

Dorothy: “Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “O-Oh, er… I would imagine you’re tired. Please, rest in your room until dinner.”

(I’m still worried about him, though…what should I do?)

(Try asking Crowlie what’s wrong.) (Intimacy +7)

(…I can’t just leave things like this.)

(I have to ask him!)

Dorothy: “Hey Crowlie… There’s something I want to talk to you about.”

Crowlie: “Why, I would love to talk.”

He smiled in delight.

(Bringing this up may put Crowlie in a bad mood, but…)

(…if there’s something hurting him, I want to be there for him!)

I looked right at Crowlie.

9.5

Crowlie: “What would you like to ask?”

Dorothy: “Crowlie, you seem a little different from usual…”

Crowlie: “I do…?”

He looked a little stunned for a moment, but quickly let out an awkward smile.

Crowlie: “I was probably just nervous since I was alone with you, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “It wasn’t just then. You seemed a little off even before we went out into town.”

Crowlie: “I did…?”

Dorothy: “You’d suddenly clam up, and look like you were thinking really hard about something…”

Crowlie: “Really…?”

The smile vanished from his face.

Crowlie: “Are you sure you’re not just imagining that, Dorothy…?”

Dorothy: “Something seemed a little of when we were talking too, and you’d sometimes miss what I was saying.”

Crowlie: “What are you talking about…?”

He avoided my eyes.

Dorothy: “If there’s something on your mind, Crowlie, please, talk to me about it. I could help you!”

Crowlie: “There’s nothing wrong, really…”

Dorothy: “I know that’s not true. I can tell just by looking at you. We’re friends!”

Crowlie: “Friends…”

9.6

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 12,000

Dorothy: “If you can’t talk to me, then you could try Heartmann, or even Leonardo…”

Crowlie: “!”

Crowlie shot his head up and glared at me.

Crowlie: “Why do you have to bring them up?!”

Crowlie came up to me, his voice harshening.

(W-Wait, what…?!)

I found myself stepping back, but he pressured me all the way to the wall.

Crowlie: “This isn’t any of their business!”

(Crowlie, what’s happened to you?!)

I tried to get away, but he put his hands on the wall to prevent my escape.

Crowlie: “I’m the one who knows you best, Dorothy!”

Dorothy: “Crowlie…?!”

Crowlie: “And I’m the one you chose!”

Dorothy: “That’s why I’m worried about you!”

Crowlie: “Do you love me, Dorothy?”

(It’s not a matter of loving him or not, I’m just…just worried…)

Crowlie: “…There’s not someone else, is there?”

Dorothy: “?!”

Crowlie: “That’s why you were eager to get back to the castle, isn’t it? Because you wanted to see this mystery man?”

(N-No…!)

9.7

Crowlie: “You didn’t really mean it when you chose me, or when you asked me for a date today, did you?”

Dorothy: “What?! Of course I did!”

A wave of sadness consumed my mind, and I nearly started crying.

Toto: “Woof, woof! Grrr!”

Toto barked fiercely at Crowlie.

Crowlie: “…?!”

Coming back to his senses, Crowlie pulled away from me.

Crowlie: “…”

He bit his lip, his face a mixture of confusion, rage and sadness.

Toto: “Grrr!”

Crowlie held an imposing hand over Toto, quieting him down, then he hurried away, not turning back to face me once.

Toto: *whine*…

Worried, Toto nuzzled my leg.

Dorothy: “…”

The words Crowlie had left me with had struck deep into my heart.

(I…I didn’t know words could be this painful…)

Unable to endure the pain, I dropped down where I stood.

Toto: “…”

Toto licked my cheek.

9.8

(How did it come to this…?)

I returned to my room with heavy footfalls.

Toto: *Whine*…

Toto walked beside me, looking up to my face in concern again and again.

(Feels like I’m going to cry…)

I held my tears back with all that I had, but they squeezed out of my eyes, fogging up my vision.

Dorothy: “Toto, I just want to go back to Kansas…I don’t care about my stupid birthday anymore.”

Toto: *Whine*…

???: “There you are, Dorothy! I was looking for you!”

I looked up, hearing the cheerful call, to see Leonardo and Heartmann.

Leonardo: “Check it out. I found some apples in the kitchen. Wanna have a bite?”

Heartmann: “Wait, something’s wrong…!”

They scrambled up to me.

Leonardo: “What’s wrong, Dorothy? You crying?!”

Heartmann: “Did something happen?”

Dorothy: “…”

(What should I tell them…? Crowlie’s their best friend. I can’t just…)

(…If I tell them, they’ll probably get hurt…)

9.9

Leonardo: “Whoa, she’s seriously crying!”

Heartmann: “Oh no!”

Leonardo: “Did that Wizard of the West do something to you?!”

Heartmann: “If so, we can’t let that go unpunished!”

Leonardo: “Grab a bucket! We’re gonna drench him in water!”

Leonardo crushed the apple in his hand in rage.

Dorothy: “…”

I powerlessly shook my head.

Heartmann: “It wasn’t him?”

Leonardo: “Really…?”

They gave me worried looks.

Leonardo: “Come on, we won’t know if you don’t tell us.”

Heartmann: “Seems like something big happened, huh?”

Heartmann pulled out a handkerchief and wiped my tears.

Leonardo: “Tell us about it. We’ll help you. That’s what friends do!”

Leonardo put his hand on my shoulder. It felt awfully warm.

Heartmann: “Let’s go somewhere we can take our time and talk.”

Leonardo: “Good idea. Let’s get goin’.”

9.10

They had taken me to the dining hall.

Heartmann: “Here, drink this. It’ll calm you down.”

Heartmann handed me a warm drink.

Dorothy: “…Thank you.”

I felt like the warm drink melted my heart frozen with sadness just a little bit.

Leonardo: “So, feel a little better?”

They looked at me with warm faces.

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

I nodded, but my eyes fogged up with tears again.

Just calming down wasn’t going to heal the wounds in my heart.

Heartmann: “Do you want to talk about what happened?”

(I don’t know why, but Crowlie sounded like he didn’t like Heartmann and Leonardo…)

(…and if I tell them about it, that might put up a wall between them.)

Leonardo: “Come on, Dorothy, you can tell us. We’re your friends!”

(Friends…!)

Memories of our journey years ago came back to me.

(That’s right. We overcame so many obstacles…)

(I’ll believe in that bond one more time!)

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll come clean…” (Intimacy +7)

9.11

Dorothy: “Remember how I was worried about Crowlie, since he was acting strange?”

Heartmann: “Oh, I remember that.”

Leonardo: “Really? I don’t.”

Heartmann: “It was back when we were having breakfast with Lord Solomon.”

Dorothy: “I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I asked Crowlie out into the town.”

Leonardo: “Alone?! What a sly dog, that Crowlie…lemme at him!”

Dorothy: “N-No, nothing happened, just…”

Heartmann: “…you wanted to figure out what was going through his head?”

Dorothy: “Yeah, but…it didn’t go well, so I asked him when we got back to the castle.”

Dorothy: “I asked him to talk to me or you guys if there was anything trouble him.”

Leonardo: “So what’d he say?”

Dorothy: “Well, his voice got really hoarse, and he asked if I loved someone else…”

Heartmann: “…!”

Leonardo: “Crowlie said that?”

Leonardo looked at me in utter disbelief.

Dorothy: “Then he asked if I really meant it when I chose him to be my boyfriend, and when I asked him out on that date…”

I got sadder the more I talked, and I couldn’t hold back my tears.

Heartmann: “I’m so sorry that happened to you, Dorothy.”

Heartmann put his handkerchief in my hand as he gently stroked my head.

9.12

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you really do love Crowlie, don’t you?”

Dorothy: “I do…?”

Leonardo: “Seriously?!”

Heartmann: “You just don’t realize it yet.”

Dorothy: “I…I love Crowlie…?”

Heartmann: “That’s why you noticed he was acting strange, and you tried to find out why.”

Dorothy: “But…”

Heartmann: “And that’s why his words hurt you so much.”

(…!)

Leonardo: “I gotta wonder about that. I don’t think that’s the whole deal.”

Heartmann: “Leonardo, if you heard the same thing, would you get sad enough to cry?”

Leonardo: “No way. I’d get mad and flatten him right there.”

Heartmann: “Exactly.”

Leonardo: “Wait, what?”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, however, got sad instead of angry. It’s because she loves him.”

(I really…love Crowlie…?!)

I was shocked that I didn’t know…or rather, notice, my own feelings.

(Is that…true?)

9.13

When I thought of Crowlie, those clear eyes gazed back at me.

At the same time, something wrenched at my heart, and I could feel it starting to beat much, much faster.

(Is it because I’m in love with him…?)

Leonardo: “This ‘human love’ stuff sure is a pain.”

Heartmann: “The real problem is there’s someone else who doesn’t get it…”

Leonardo: “And who’s that?”

Heartmann: “I’ll tell you later.”

Heartmann put his hand on my shoulder.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you should rest for today. And don’t worry — we’re with you.”

Leonardo: “You said it! Dorothy, we’ll always be with you!’

Dorothy: “Thanks, you two. I think I’ll rest for today…”

Heartmann: “We’ll walk you back to your room.”

Heartmann and Leonardo escorted Dorothy back to her room.

Dorothy: “Good night.”

Completely silent all the way to her room, Dorothy bid the two goodnight before she closed the door.

Heartmann: “Good night, and rest well.”

Leonardo: “Get better, all right? Night.”

The two smiled nicely.

When Dorothy closed the door, however, the two let out sighs. Their eyes turned grave.

Leonardo: “Gonna go see him, huh?”

Heartmann: “I intend to.”

Leonardo: “Can’t believe he had the nerve to make Dorothy cry!”

Heartmann: “Agreed. I Can’t bear to see her like that.”

Leonardo: “Can I give him a good thrashing?”

Heartmann: “I won’t stop you, but we need to talk to him first.”

Leonardo: “He’s not getting off easy this time. A friend wouldn’t let him off scot-free.”

Heartmann: “I hear that. Let’s go.”

Holding back quiet rage, the two headed to the King’s chambers.

Crowlie and his Friends

Crowlie: “I have dear comrades. Best friends, even.

Crowlie: “First, there’s Leonardo.”

Crowlie: “Though he was the Cowardly Lion at first, Oz gave him courage.”

Crowlie: “He’s proactive. So much so that he acts before he thinks.”

Crowlie: “Well, that does turn out to be a flaw from time to time, but he’s a very reliable, passionate man.”

Crowlie: “Next is Heartmann.”

Crowlie: “Originally the Tin Woodsman, Oz gave him a gentle heart.”

Crowlie: “He thinks about people’s feelings, down to the smallest of details. He truly is a kind man.”

Crowlie: “Both of them are positive influences in my life. Almost rivals, even.”

Crowlie: “But if we’re going to talk about rivals, we cannot forget this man here — Oz.”

Crowlie: “A great king and a sly swindler… However, it is my goal to surpass him.”

Crowlie: “However, someone I cannot overcome no matter how hard I try…that’s Lord Solomon, Wizard of the South.”

Crowlie: “Perfect in looks, in actions, in everything! But I can’t let him score all the points!”

Crowlie: “Not when Dorothy chose me as her boyfriend!”

Crowlie: “Oh, and we cannot forget this man, either. The Wizard of the North, Lord Norton.”

Crowlie: “I’d always thought of him as one of the good wizards, but…he certainly is a mystery.”

Crowlie: “And speaking of mysteries, we have to mention this man here… Wesley, the Wizard of the West.”

Crowlie: “No one expected that he would return from his annihilation to join the running to be Dorothy’s romantic partner…”

Crowlie: “Since he’s one of my previous foes, I have to keep a close eye on him!”

Crowlie: “Haha, but I must say…having friends as well as rivals to watch out for…that makes this interesting.”

Crowlie: “Wouldn’t you say?”

Chapter 10: Understanding of Love (12/12)

10.1

Not a moment after a knock came at the door did it swing open, with Heartmann and Leonardo stepping through it.

Leonardo: “You jerk!”

Heartmann: “Have a moment?”

The two all but stomped in.

Crowlie: “Is something amiss…?”

Crowlie just looked at them in surprise. Something was wrong here.

Leonardo: “Amiss? I’ll tell you what’s amiss, you made Dorothy cry!”

Leonardo’s roar shook the very room.

Crowlie: “?!”

Crowlie’s eyes went wide when Leonardo held him up by the collar.

Crowlie: “Leonardo, what’s gotten into you?!”

Leonardo: “I’m asking you why you said such horrible things to her!”

Heartmann: “Dorothy was crying quite a bit.”

Crowlie: “?!”

Leonardo: “What, don’t even have an excuse?”

Heartmann: “You hurt Dorothy, Crowlie. Deeply.”

Leonardo: “And I won’t let you say you don’t know what we’re talking about!”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie looked away and quieted down.

10.2

Heartmann: “Have nothing to say for yourself?”

Crowlie: “My affairs are none of your business…”

Leonardo: “THAT’S what you have to say? All right, buddy, prepare to lose some teeth!”

With a low snarl, Leonardo held his balled fist up high.

Crowlie: “?!”

Leonardo’s fist came crashing down onto Crowlie’s face.

Crowlie: “Gah…!”

Crowlie went sprawling down onto the floor.

Crowlie: “Ouch…!”

When Crowlie tried to get up, Leonardo leapt at him.

Heartmann, however, grabbed his shoulder and stopped him.

Leonardo: “Dorothy deserves better! Do you know how hurt she is?!”

Crowlie: “…How do you know?”

Still sitting on the floor, Crowlie looked up at the two in suspicion.

Heartmann: “We can tell, with how long we’ve been watching you two.”

Crowlie: “…?”

Heartmann: “Dorothy was horribly told off…by the man she loves.”

Heartmann: “Do you have any idea how much that hurts?”

Crowlie: “The man she…loves?!”

10.3

Leonardo: “If you’re just going to make Dorothy cry, then I’m not giving her up to you!”

Heartmann: “Leonardo and I love Dorothy from the bottom of our hearts.”

Heartmann: “But the man she loves, Crowlie…is you.”

Crowlie: “She…she does…?”

Heartmann: “That’s why she noticed there was something wrong with you before anyone else, and she tried to find out what was going on with you.”

Leonardo: “Right, warms the heart, doesn’t it? She didn’t want to worry us, so she asked you out onto town.”

Crowlie: “!”

Heartmann: “Dorothy’s still rough around the edges, but she was still doing her best to help you.”

Leonardo: “So why didn’t you realize that?! Why didn’t you open up to her? Is it because you can’t trust her?!”

Crowlie: “She…she was trying to…?”

Heartmann: “Do you remember when we all lined up, asking Dorothy to pick us?”

Heartmann: “You were the one she chose. I was disappointed, to be honest. A little mad.”

Heartmann: “But even so, I made a decision. I was going to cheer you two on, support your relationship. And do you know why?”

Crowlie: “…”

Heartmann: “Because I believed that I could leave her to you.”

Heartmann: “I believed that because we’re friends. Comrades.”

Crowlie: “!”

Heartmann: “Yet, you went and made Dorothy sad.”

Leonardo: “Feels like we’ve been betrayed.”

With saddened eyes, Leonardo looks at the first he hit Crowlie with.

His face pained, Crowlie put his hand to his chest.

10.4

Crowlie: “…I don’t know why myself, why I said such a horrible thing to her…”

Heartmann: “…”

Heartmann: “Jealousy, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “Jealousy…?!”

Heartmann: “Jealousy, because you love Dorothy.”

Crowlie: “This is…jealous? Human…emotion…?”

Crowlie pressed at his chest, looking completely lost.

Leonardo: “It’s not just people, either. Animals get crazy jealous, too. Scarecrows probably don’t, though.”

Heartmann: “I had a feeling you had trouble with understanding your own emotions, Crowlie.”

Heartmann: “Crowlie… You were suspicious of Dorothy because you were jealous.”

Crowlie: “I… I…”

Crowlie: “I did something horrible to Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “Looks like you’ve finally realized it.”

Heartmann smiled.

Crowlie: “Heartmann, Leonardo… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Crowlie drooped his head in defeat.

Leonardo: “I don’t think we’re the ones y’need to be apologizing to.”

Leonardo held out his hand.

When Crowlie looked up and took his hand, Leonardo pulled him up.

10.5

Crowlie: “How could I apologize to Dorothy? What can I say…?”

Leonardo: “Good question…”

Leonardo tilted his head in thought.

Heartmann: “She’s really, really hurt. I’m not so sure she’ll forgive you easily…”

Heartmann: “So you’ll probably have to bare your heart and apologize.”

Crowlie: “Bare my heart… You’re right, I have to go and apologize to her now!”

Before Crowlie could scramble to Dorothy, however, Heartmann stopped him.

Heartmann: “Dorothy is resting now.”

Leonardo: “Just let her sleep for today.”

Crowlie: “O-Oh…”

Heartmann: “You can apologize to her tomorrow. First thing in the morning.”

Crowlie: “Tomorrow morning…”

Crowlie looked like he just couldn’t wait to apologize.

Leonardo peered at his guilty face.

Leonardo: “Place I hit you is a little swollen. You look a bit more manly now!”

Leonardo let out a smirk.

Crowlie: “Because you certainly didn’t hold back… I hop it goes down by the morning.”

With a strained smile, Crowlie bowed to Heartmann and Leonardo.

10.6

Crowlie: “I’m really sorry, you two. And…thank you.”

Heartmann: “We haven’t given you a pass just yet. You’ve got to apologize to Dorothy first.”

Leonardo: “Got it?”

Crowlie: “Very well.”

The next morning.

(I was crying for so long I barely got any sleep…)

As I stared absently at the sunlight poking in through the window, Toto looked at me with worried eyes.

Toto: *whine*

Dorothy: “Oh, Toto, I’m sorry… You were too worried about me to sleep, weren’t you?”

Toto: “…”

Toto slowly wagged his tail.

Dorothy: “I don’t think I’ve had a morning this rough before… Wonder what I should do today…?”

I felt too down to do anything at all.

(I think I’ll just stay in my room all day…)

Toto: “!”

Toto’s ears shot up and he looked at the door.

Then, someone knocked at the door.

(Who’s there…?)

(Could it be…Crowlie?) (Intimacy +7)

That was probably a baseless hope.

Toto: “…”

Toto was staring me in the face.

Dorothy: “I want to see Crowlie, but there’s no way that’s him…”

(And even if it was Crowlie out there, I don’t know what to say to him…)

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto ran up to the door, then turned to me and barked quietly.

(I wonder if he’s telling me to open it?)

(Well, if Toto wants me to, I guess I’ll give it a try.)

I stood in front of the door.

10.7

Dorothy: “Hold on…”

I answered whoever was on the other side.

???: “Good morning, Dorothy…”

My eyes went wide at the voice beyond the door.

(Wait, that voice…could it be…?!)

Dorothy: “Crowlie…?!”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, I’m sorry about yesterday. I said something horrible and hurt you so much…”

Crowlie: “So I…I came to apologize. Would you open the door?”

He sounded like he always did, but I could hear guilt in his voice.

Dorothy: “Um, all right, hold on a little….”

I was a little taken aback at how sudden it all was.

(What should I…? I want to see Crowlie, but I just woke up…)

I looked at the mirror to see my face, puffy from spending all of last night crying.

(Oh, look at that face! I don’t want him to see me like this…)

Dorothy: “Toto, what should I do?”

Toto: “Arf, arf!”

Toto was running around chasing his own tail.

(He’s not listening to me at all… Oh, what should I do…?0

(I know, I’ll ask him to wait a little!) (Intimacy +7)

I spoke up to Crowlie.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, could you wait a little?”

Crowlie: “Ah, sure…”

Dorothy: “I just woke up…”

Crowlie: “Very well. Really, I should be apologize for knocking so early in the morning.”

Dorothy: I’ll be just a moment, so hold on a little.”

Crowlie: “You needn’t hurry. Really.”

(All right, my clothes, my hair, my face… Oh! I have to clean up my room, too! Oh, I have to hurry…!)

10.8

Hurriedly, I got dressed and brushed my hair.

Toto: “Woof, woof!’

At my feet, Toto urged me to hurry.

Dorothy: “I get it, I get it, so out of the way!”

And though I tried to put on some makeup…

(Oh, no…this puffiness just doesn’t want to go away!)

I gave up on makeup and started to hurriedly clean up my room.

Toto: “?”

Toto tilted his head up as he saw me push my negligee under the bed.

Dorothy: “I-It’s because I’m in a hurry, all right?”

After finally getting ready, I stood back in front of the door and took a deep breath.

Dorothy: “Sorry for the wait… And, um, my face looks really terrible this morning, so try not to look, okay?”

I opened the door to see Crowlie standing there, holding a small flower and looking awfully nervous.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, y-your face…”

He gasped when he saw it.

(That bad, huh…?)

Crowlie: “Were you…crying all night? Because of what I said…?”

Crowlie looked horrified.

Dorothy: “!”

I hurriedly covered up my face with my hands and tried to retreat back into my room.

10.9

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 16,000

Crowlie: “Wait…!”

Crowlie caught my arm and pulled me back.

(…?!)

Before I knew it, he was softly embracing me.

Crowlie: “I’m so sorry for making you cry!”

He let out a pained whisper into my ear.

Crowlie: “You were so worried about me, but I went and…and…”

Crowlie: “I was jealous, Dorothy. I wasn’t confident that I was worthy to be yours…”

(Jealous…)

Crowlie: “So I lost sight of myself, of your feelings…”

Since he was holding me, I couldn’t see his face, but I knew just how much he was blaming himself.

Crowlie: “I really am I fool. All I have is book knowledge, and I don’t understand either of our hearts at all…”

Crowlie: “I’m just a pseudo intellectual fool.”

Crowlie: “…It’s not just you, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “I didn’t notice how you really felt… I didn’t even realize how I felt.”

Crowlie: “You didn’t…?”

I pulled away from him and stared into his clear eyes.

Crowlie: “I didn’t notice that you loved me…or that I loved you.”

Crowlie: “But still, I shouldn’t have said such horrible things to you.”

Crowlie: “I apologize from the bottom of my heart. Please, forgive me.”

He held out the small flower he had in his hand.

10.10

Dorothy: “A flower?”

I took it and looked from it to his face.

Crowlie: “There were beautiful flowers blooming in the garden.”

Dorothy: “It really is beautiful…”

Crowlie: “That heart of yours, as beautiful as this flower… I promise not to hurt it again.”

Dorothy: “…!”

Crowlie’s eyes were so clear, so painfully lucid.

Crowlie: “Would you forgive me?”

Dorothy: “Of course I’ll forgive you.” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie; “Really?!”

Dorothy: “Because I can tell just how genuine you’re being.”

I could tell how much he meant it with one look at those beautiful, clear eyes.

Crowlie: “Thank you, Dorothy!”

It was the first smile I’d seen on him today.

It felt like it had been quite some time since I’d seen that smile of his.

Looking at how pleased Crowlie seemed, I noticed something.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, what happened to your left cheek there?”

I noticed it was swollen red a little.

Crowlie: “Oh, this? A little tough love from a close friend, you could say.”

Crowlie strained out a smile as he rubbed the swelling.

10.11

Dorothy: “Tough love…?”

He must’ve been talking about Heartmann or Leonardo.

Dorothy: “Wait, did…Leonardo hit you, or something?”

Crowlie: “Without pulling his punches, either. That’s what woke me up. I’m glad those two are my best friends.”

I knew I didn’t have to ask for details. I didn’t need to step into their manly bond.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, truth be told, there’s something else I have to tell you.”

Crowlie looked at me with serious eyes.

Crowlie: “I love you.”

(…!)

Crowlie: “I need to really tell you that…so I don’t make the same mistake twice.”

(I need to do the same thing…)

Dorothy: “I love you too, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “!”

He showed surprise for a moment, but quickly put on a smile and stroked my hair.

Crowlie: “I’m so glad I let you know how I feel…”

Dorothy: “Me too…”

As we gazed at each other, our faces slowly drew closer.

I could imagine what was about to happen.

A mix of anticipation and fear mixed deep inside me.

10.12

Dorothy: “My face is so swollen, it’s embarrassing…”

When I whispered that, he just smiled gently.

Crowlie: “It’s cute in its own way, you know…”

Then, our lips softly came together.

The unfathomable sweetness of the kiss invited me to fall into the realm of dreams.

When our lips gently parted, my heart started to beat fiercely.

(That was my…first kiss…)

I looked down to hide my crimson face.

My heart was going so fast I couldn’t stand up straight.

Crowlie: “Look out!”

Crowlie held me up before I could fall over.

Crowlie: “Are you all right?”

Dorothy: “Y-Yeah…”

When I answered, still spellbound, Crowlie gently touched my cheek.

Crowlie: “Let me see that cute face of yours.”

Our eyes met.

Dorothy: “It looks awful now, really…”

Crowlie: “I don’t think so at all. It looks so lovely…”

(What beautiful eyes…)

In his eyes I could see myself in the sunlight coming in from the window, seeming to shine.

After Becoming a Couple

Crowlie: “It certainly is harder than one would expect to know one’s own feelings…”

Crowlie: “And because of that, I put Dorothy through such a painful experience…”

Crowlie: “Leonardo and Heartmann made me realize my mistake.”

Crowlie: “Without even knowing it, I had betrayed them, as well…”

Crowlie: “When Leonardo hit me with all that he had, I finally realized…”

Crowlie: “I was so worried about whether Dorothy would forgive me or not that I could not sleep last night…”

Crowlie: “Yet Dorothy forgave me. She gave me another chance. Oh, how happy I was…”

Crowlie: “Never again will I do something to sadden her!”

Crowlie: “I don’t want to lose the happiness we have. I don’t want to see Dorothy’s tears.”

Crowlie: “I may have received brains, but I still have a long way to go as a person.”

Crowlie: “Yet, still, I will do my utmost to make Dorothy happy!”

Crowlie: “So, let us…let us make this work.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, I love you.”

Chapter 11: Being a True Couple (14/14)

11.1

Crowlie and I had finally officially become boyfriend and girlfriend.

(I’ve got to tell Heartmann and Leonardo, calm them down.)

They had to be worried around now.

Dorothy: “I really worried Heartmann and Leonardo, so I’ve got to apologize to them.”

Crowlie: “I was thinking the same thing. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have realized my mistake.”

It looks like Crowlie had been thinking the same thing.

(They really are our best friends…)

I was so glad to be included in the team.

Crowlie: “How can I let them know how thankful I am?”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, have you any good ideas?”

Dorothy: “How about having a tea party?” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “I see!”

Dorothy: “We can apologize to them there, and announce that we’re now going out.”

Crowlie: “It won’t feel stuffy, either, so they should appreciate the gesture.”

Dorothy: “Right! Let’s let them know how we feel while serving them some nice tea.”

Crowlie: “Very well, let us go with that.”

Crowlie: “Well then, I will start preparations immediately.”

Dorothy: “I’ll help, too.”

11.2

Crowlie: “You needn’t worry, the servants can handle it.”

Dorothy: “Oh, but I want to help.”

(My feelings demand it.)

Crowlie: “Quite like you, Dorothy. Very well, I shall help as well.”

Picking up on my feelings, Crowlie nodded with a smile.

With that, we got to preparing for the tea party.

The tea party was held at a table in the castle’s garden.

Leonardo: “What’s up with this?”

Heartmann: “I heard there was to be a tea party, but..are we the only guests?”

Brought over to the table by servants, Leonardo and Heartmann’s eyes went wide with surprise.

Crowlie: “Thank you for coming.”

Dorothy: “Well, don’t just stand there. Come on, take your seats.”

I said with a smile, leading them to sit down.

Seeing the two of us, Heartmann chuckled.

Heartmann: “Looks like you two are getting along again.”

Crowlie and I exchanged looks and smiled bashful smiles.

Dorothy: “I’m really sorry for worrying you two…”

Crowlie: “Thanks to you, I realized my own mistake and apologize to Dorothy. Things are better now.”

Leonardo: “You went and apologized? Good, good, I’ll forgive you too, then.”

He sounded smug, but Leonardo’s face housed a delighted smile.

11.3

Heartmann: “Good to hear, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Thank you.”

Crowlie: “And as an apologize and thanks, we decided to have this tea party for you.”

Leonardo: “Now that’s what I like to hear!”

Heartmann: “I always love it when the four of us gather together.”

Crowlie: “Heartmann, Leonardo, I’m really sorry. And…thanks.”

Dorothy: “I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart.”

When Crowlie and I apologized, Heartmann and Leonardo shuffled around, bashful.

Heartmann: “Don’t worry, we don’t think anything of it.”

Leonardo: “Y-Yeah, if you guys are back together, that’s all we need.”

Crowlie: “I’m glad you two are our friends.”

Crowlie said, sounding moved.

Crowlie: “I’ve got to be grateful for meeting you back when we first started our journey, too…”

Heartmann: “I heart that. That journey really was a precious experience for all of us, wasn’t it?”

Leonardo: “Dorothy brought the three of us together.”

Dorothy: “Well, I’m glad I met the three of you, too.”

They all grinned.

Dorothy: “Oh, and I’ve got one more thing to announce.”

With that, I looked at Crowlie.

11.4

Crowlie: “Dorothy and I are now officially dating.”

Though a little fidgety, Crowlie came out and announced it.

Leonardo: “Really? Glad to hear it! …Wait, what?!”

Heartmann: “Then you’ve let each other know how you feel, yes?”

Crowlie: “We have, thanks to the two of you.”

Leonardo: “Wait, since you’re coming out and saying you’re going out, does that mean…”

Dorothy: “…?”

Leonardo: “That means you’ve kissed?”

(Huh?!)

Crowlie: “Well, er…”

Leonardo: “Well, have you or haven’t you?”

Crowlie: “Well, er…”

Our faces turned beet red.

Leonardo: “You have, haven’t you? I knew it!”

Crowlie: “…We have.”

(He said it…)

Leonardo: “I knew it! Hah! You lucky dog!”

Leonardo pat Crowlie on the shoulder with a grandiose laugh.

11.5

Crowlie: “Hahaha… That hurts, Leonardo.”

Heartmann: “Definitely on purpose…”

Heartmann whispered.

Dorothy: “Huh?”

Heartmann: “Congratulations, you two.”

Dorothy: “Thanks, Heartmann.”

Heartmann: “We’re cheering for you.”

Leonardo: “Yeah, we’re behind you all the way.”

Crowlie: “Thank you, Leonardo.”

Dorothy: “Well, let’s have our tea. There’s cookies, too.”

Leonardo: “…!”

Leonardo’s eyes went wide.

Heartmann: “What’s wrong?”

Leonardo: “Oh, I was just wondering if Toto’ll steal my cookies again…”

Leonardo guarded himself against the usual development.

Toto: “?”

Toto, however, sitting obediently at my feet, tilted his head.

11.6

Dorothy: “It looks like he’s being on his best behavior for once.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto seemed to understand just how important this tea party was.

Leonardo: “Good boy, Toto!”

Leonardo gave Toto some of his cookie.

Crowlie: “Though Toto got Leonardo’s cookie in the end.”

Leonardo: “Wait, you’re right!”

Heartmann: “Could all be part of Toto’s plan.”

Toto: “Woof!”

We all laughed.

(I got to apologize and tell them about our relationship… Having a tea party was the right choice.)

I looked to Crowlie, and he nodded with a smile.

Those clear eyes looked so much more lovely than usual, and I knew it was because…

(…we both know how the other feels…)

Full of happiness, everything I saw seemed to shine.

(How wonderful it is to love and be loved!)

The joyful time we shared slowly passed on.

11.7

With the tea party over, everyone headed back to the castle.

Leonardo: “Hey, at least hold hands when you walk.”

Leonardo mockingly said.

Dorothy: “H-Hey, Leonardo…”

Heartmann: “That’s the bare minimum you’ve got to do after an announcement like that.”

Heartmann added, as if he was enjoying this.

Crowlie: “Oh, well…”

His face red, Crowlie softly took my hand.

Dorothy: “…”

(I can’t help feeling self-conscious…)

Crowlie looked nervous as he walked, too.

Heartmann: “Where are you going? That way leads to the garden.”

Crowlie: “Oh…”

We hurriedly turned around.

Leonardo: “Hah, look at you guys, getting all nervous.”

Heartmann: “All right, I’m still a little worried.”

Crowlie: “Y-You don’t need to worry about anything.”

Dorothy: “You guys keep teasing us, so I can’t help being self-conscious about this!”

The two chuckled at our reactions.

11.8

The maids who passed us by, too, giggled and whispered as they did.

Maid: “They really do look like a wonderful couple, holding hands like that.”

Servant: “Haha, what a pair.”

(I’m kind of happy and kind of embarrassed… Oh…!)

Crowlie cleared his throat to hide his embarrassment.

Crowlie: “That aside, what shall we do today?”

Dorothy: “You haven’t decided anything?”

Crowlie looked at me.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, is there anything you want to do?”

(Nothing in particular, but…)

Dorothy: “Do you want to do anything, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “I’d rather do what you want to do.”

Dorothy: “Well, tell me what you want to do.”

Crowlie: “What I want to do? I’d like to hear what you want to do.”

Dorothy: “Well, what I want to do is hear what you want to do.”

Heartmann and Leonardo just looked at our back and forth speechless.

???: “So, what are these goofy lovebirds up to?”

11.9

(Huh?)

Out of nowhere came Oz, looking like he’d seen something ridiculous.

Oz; “If you want to know what I want, it’s getting invited to tea parties.”

Crowlie: “You were watching us?”

Oz: “You sure looked like you were having a good time.”

Dorothy: “I’m sorry, it was just a small tea party with friends, so…”

Crowlie: “We weren’t leaving you out of spite, Oz.”

Oz: “Well, I’ll leave it at that, then. More importantly…can you come with me today, little miss?”

Oz drew his face close to mine.

Leonardo: “Now that ain’t happening.”

Oz; “Why?”

Heartmann: “Because Dorothy and Crowlie are officially going out.”

Oz: “Officially?”

Dorothy: “We are.”

Oz; “I can’t believe this…!”

Oz looked up in exasperation.

Oz; “The princess chooses the Scarecrow?! The heavens must be crying.”

He brought his face closer again.

11.10

Oz: “It’s not too late to think things over, doll.”

Dorothy: “I’ve made my decision.”

Oz; “You serious?”

Dorothy: “I am.”

Oz: “…”

Oz looked like he wanted to say something, but after letting out a sigh, he took his leave in silence.”

Leonardo: “That big of a shock?”

This time, a servant came up to us.

Servant: “King Crowlie, a petition from the people has arrived.”

Crowlie: “Please leave it in my room. I will get to it later.”

Servant: “Very well.”

When the servant left, Heartmann spoke up.

Heartmann: “Certainly is challenging being king. Spoken as a fellow king.”

Leonardo: “Well, it’s the king’s job to listen to his people.”

(Oh yeah, all three of them are kings…I’d totally forgotten.)

Crowlie: “Now, back to the original topic. If I do not know what you want to do, Dorothy, I cannot put together any plans for the day.”

Crowlie: “Please tell me what you’d like to do, whatever that may be.”

(Well… Hm. What should I say?)

(I want to be with Crowlie if I can, but…)

(I want him to do his duties as king, to…)

Dorothy: “I know! I want to help you with your work, Crowlie!” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “You want to help me…?!”

Dorothy: “That way we can be together, and you can get your work done, right?”

Heartmann: “That sounds like a good idea. Crowlie, let Dorothy help you.”

Leonardo: “We’ll just get in the way, so we’re heading out to town.”

11.11

Crowlie: “In that case, I would love your help.”

Dorothy: “And I’ll gladly give it.”

Heartmann: “Well, we’ll be heading out to town, then.”

Leonardo: “Crowlie, don’t push Dorothy too hard, y’hear?”

Crowlie: “I won’t.”

After seeing Heartmann and Leonardo off, I headed with Crowlie to his room.

Dorothy: “Looks like there was more than one petition…!”

I looked in shock at the mountain of papers on top of Crowlie’s desk.

Crowlie: “This is actually one of my lighter days.”

Crowlie strained out a smile.

Crowlie: “Don’t worry, the petitions aren’t filled with complaints.”

Crowlie: “They’re mostly ideas to improve the city.”

(It’s probably because they all expect so much from Crowlie, too.)

Dorothy: “So, what should I do?”

Crowlie: “Could you divide them by topic?”

Dorothy: “Sure thing, leave it to me!”

I immediately got to work, and Crowlie started reading the petitions with a resolute vigor.

Crowlie: “…”

His face truly looked like a king’s.

11.12

(It really puts my mind at ease, getting to do something with just the two of us like this…)

On occasion, as we tended to our work, Crowlie would take glances at my face and smile.

(I wonder if Crowlie feels the same way…)

Thinking that, I continued dividing up the petitions.

There was a knock at the door.

Crowlie: “It’s open.”

Heartmann and Leonardo opened the door and came into the room.

Heartmann: “Still working?”

Leonardo: “Sun’s down already, you two. Or were you busy kissing this whole time?”

Dorothy: “We weren’t!”

Crowlie: “It’s already evening…?”

I looked out the window to see a beautiful sunset.

(Wow, it really is evening already…I hadn’t noticed at all.)

Leonardo: “Here, I picked up a donut for Toto.”

Toto had gotten bored of waiting for me and had gone to nap in my room.

Dorothy: “Thank you. I’m sure Toto’ll love this.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, you should rest for a little. I’ll take care of the rest.”

Crowlie offered considerately.

11.13

(I’ve done most of the work I was supposed to, but…)

(…there’s still a lot of petitions left. What should I do?)

(It doesn’t look like there’s anything I can help with, so I guess I’ll head back to my room.) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll head back to my room, then. Try not to push yourself too much, okay?”

Crowlie: “Of course. I’m glad you helped me so much.”

Crowlie gave me a delighted smile.

(Well, I’m glad I could help him, even a little.)

Dorothy: “Well, I’ll see you when you’re done, then.”

With the donut Leonardo had brought in hand, I went back to my room.

As it turns out, Crowlie was busy with some extra work that came in, and night fell without me being able to see him.

Dorothy: “Looks like it’s bed time already, Toto.”

Toto: *yawn*

When I commented to him, Toto let out a sleepy yawn.

Dorothy: “I wonder if Crowlie’s still working…?”

Toto: “…”

Toto started to nod off.

(I can’t get Crowlie off my mind…I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep like this.)

Well, it wasn’t so much that I was worried about him. I just really, really wanted to see him.

Dorothy: “I’ll give his room a visit.”

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “Just to say goodnight.”

Toto: “…Huff!”

Toto looked away with sleepy eyes.

Dorothy: “Oh, you don’t have to come with me. Sweet dreams, Toto.”

I decided to go to Crowlie’s room alone.

(I’m in my pajamas, but…this’ll be all right, right? I probably won’t run into anyone…)

11.14

Love Choice

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Dorothy: “All right. I’m off, Toto.”

Toto: *yaaawn*

Toto slowly wagged his tail, already nodding off.

I knocked on Crowlie’s door and heard him from inside.

Crowlie: “It’s open.”

I went into his room and started talking.

Dorothy: “Still working?”

Crowlie: “Huh?!”

When Crowlie raised his head and looked at me, he gasped.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, what are you wearing…?”

Crowlie quickly looked away, turning red.

Dorothy: “I just wanted to say goodnight before I went to bed…”

Crowlie: “R-Really? Thank you.”

Seeing Crowlie steal glances at me was just adorable.

Dorothy: “I had a lot of fun today. And, well…good night.”

Crowlie: “Oh, h-hang on a minute.”

Crowlie stood up from his chair and came up to me.

Crowlie: “Since you’re already here, how about we talk a little?”

Crowlie gently stroked my hair.

His fingers sliding across my hair felt just a little ticklish.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, your hair is just so beautiful…”

He deftly twirled a strand of hair around his finger and gently kissed it.

Dorothy: “What about those petitions?”

Crowlie: “They can wait a little. The night is long…”

His clear eyes stared right at me.

And I could see myself reflected right back.

He gently scooped up my bangs and kissed them.

And I enjoyed the softness of his lips. ON YOUR BANGS?! YOUR BANGS CAN TELL HOW SOFT HIS LIPS ARE?!

Dorothy: “I wonder if we could just stay like this forever, if the night went on for eternity…”

Crowlie: “There is no night without its dawn. And besides, I think we need to cherish the limited time we have.”

Dorothy: “You’re right.”

Crowlie: “Well then, as a protective charm…”

(A charm…?)

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 11 CG

Crowlie: “Something to ensure you have good dreams tonight.”

With that, Crowlie kissed my lips.

My mind turned to cotton candy from the sheer sweetness.

(Am I already dreaming…?)

(If he’s fine with it, I think I’ll stay here for a bit.)

I let myself get washed up in the strange, joyful realm between dreams and reality.

Crowlie’s Favorite Food

Dorothy: “Say, Crowlie, what’s your favorite food?”

Crowlie: “My favorite food is tea loam.”

Dorothy: “Team loam? I’ve…I’ve never heard of that before.”

Crowlie: “Understandable. It’s an Oz recipe.”

Dorothy: “tea…loam… Wait, it’s not tea made of mud, right? What kind of ‘food’ is it?”

Crowlie: “Haha…take a look for yourself.”

Crowlie: “Here it is.”

Dorothy: “Hey, this is oatmeal! It’s oatmeal porridge!”

Crowlie: “That seems to be what they call it in your world.”

Dorothy: “So oatmeal is called tea loam in Oz, huh?”

Crowlie: “This is just my conjecture, but…”

Crowlie: “I think the name ‘tea loam’ is an anagram for oatmeal’.”

Dorothy: “It’s strange it’s got such a different name, but I’m kind of relieved to see it’s a food I know so well.”

Crowlie: “Glad to hear it. By the way, this castle’s cook makes the best tea loam you’ve ever tasted.”

Dorothy: “Oh, I can’t wait to have some, then! Now, where’s my spoon…?”

Chapter 12: Last Days of Being Together (/)

12.1

The next day, Crowlie asked me to come to the castle garden.

Dorothy: “Crowlie? What is it?”

When I called to Crowlie, you’d been staring at the garden, he answered me with the smile of a child.

Crowlie: “I’m thinking of opening up a section of this garden to be a place for the people to relax.”

Dorothy: “Really? The garden?”

The large garden had its own forest in it, as well as a number of beautiful statues.

Crowlie: “One of the petitions was asking for a place that the people could relax and unwind.”

Crowlie turned his eyes to the town.

Crowlie: “There’s a square in the town itself, but it has many shops and far too many people and carriages.”

Dorothy: “It’s probably a little dangerous for little kids and people bringing their families.”

Crowlie: “So I’m thinking of making this a nice park, where everyone can gather and relax.”

Crowlie: “Luckily, since the garden is so big, we can make about half of it into a park with no trouble.”

Dorothy: “That sounds wonderful!”

Crowlie smiled at my approval.

Crowlie: “I’m thinking of having a little brick road built to make it easy to walk around in.”

Dorothy: “Wait, do you mean…”

Crowlie: “Just like the road we walked along for our journey.”

Dorothy: “Sounds like it’ll be a beautiful park.”

Crowlie put his hand on my shoulder and gently pulled me to him.

12.2

Crowlie: “I’d love to walk along that road with you, Dorothy. Just the two of us.”

I closed my eyes and imagined it.

They yellow road of bricks cutting through the green forest, with the Emerald City in the distance.

I would lean into Crowlie, linking arms as we walked along…

(Oh, it sounds so romantic!)

Dorothy: “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Crowlie: “Well, I must be making those arrangements. I’ll see you later, Dorothy”

Crowlie kissed my hair, then hurried back to his office.

(Oh, I should go tell Heartmann and Leonardo.)

Oz; “Dorothy, got a minute?’

Oz called out to me on my way to see the other two.

Dorothy: “Sure, what is it?”

Oz; “I know you’ve decided to officially go out with Crowlie, but…”

Oz: “I’ll ask you again. Are you sure about this?”

Oz seemed uncharacteristically serious.

Crowlie: “I am. Crowlie and I are in love.”

Oz: “…”

Oz: “You sure you’re not forgetting something important?”

(Something important?)

12.3

Oz: “It’s almost your birthday.”

Dorothy: “What about it?”

Oz: “The minute your birthday’s over, we’re both going to have to go back to Kansas.”

Dorothy: “…!”

Oz: “So, what are you going to do? Stay here instead of going back to Kansas?”

(Oh…! I’d totally forgotten…!)

That was right. I would have to go back to Kansas after my birthday celebration was over.

(My aunt and uncle are probably worried, too…)

Oz: “Too in love to remember the big details, huh?”

(If I go back to Kansas, that means I can’t be with Crowlie…)

Oz: “i’ll clear this up now — Crowlie’s not going to be going to Kansas.”

Dorothy: “What? But, he…”

Oz: “You think he’ll go to Kansas because he loves you?”

(I wonder if he will…?)

Oz; “He’s pretty young. He’ll probably say he’ll go with you because he loves you.”

Oz: “But are you really all right with that?”

Dorothy: “Huh?”

Oz: “Crowlie’s the King of the Emerald City, in case you hadn’t noticed.”

Oz: “The people of this city need him.”

(Oh…!)

12.4

Oz: “It’ll probably sound strange coming from me, but are you really fine with him throwing away the people of this city to come to Kansas with you?”

Dorothy: “I-I…”

(I can’t…do that…)

He was a king, and that meant his people needed him.

I couldn’t just steal their king away from him.

(But I love him, I…I want to stay with him…)

Two opposing desires battled it out inside me.

Dorothy: “Oz, what should I do?”

Oz: “That’s not my decision to make. It’s all you, Dorothy.”

(But I can’t decide… I don’t know what to do…)

Oz: “This world’s more or less a land of dreams, but Kansas? That’s reality.”

Oz; “So dreamland or reality. Think about where you want to live, and think well.”

With a pat on my head, Oz took his leave.

(What should I do…?)

With reality thrust before me, everything around me seemed to lose color.

Afterwards, I locked myself in my room and turned the situation around and around in my head.

(Why did I forget something so important?)

Toto: *Whine*

Dorothy: “Once my birthday’s up, it’s off to Kansas, huh…?”

Just a few years ago, when I was on my journey with my three friends, going home to Kansas was the only thing on my mind.

(But things are different this time…)

12.5

Dorothy: “I love Crowlie.”

Toto: “Woof…”

Dorothy: “I want to be with him…”

Toto: *Whine*

Dorothy: “I want to walk in the park he’s going to make with him…”

Dorothy: “But I…don’t think I’ll be able to…”

It would take some time to make the park. There was no way it would be finished by the time my birthday came around.

Dorothy: “What should I do…?”

As I worried, I suddenly wanted to see Crowlie’s face.

(But what am I going to do, even if I see him?)

I still wanted to see him. I couldn’t put my desire away.

Dorothy: “Toto, you stay here. I’m going to go see Crowlie.”

Toto: “Woof…”

Leaving Toto behind, I headed for Crowlie.

(I wonder where Crowlie is?)

As I wandered around the castle, I ran into Heartmann and Leonardo.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, what are you doing?”

Dorothy: “Oh, good to see you! Do you know where Crowlie is?”

Leonardo: “Something happen?”

Leonardo peered into my face.

12.6

Dorothy: “Well, nothing, exactly, I just…really want to see him, so…”

Leonardo: “Aww, you searching for your sweet little Crowlie-Wowley?”

Leonardo japed.

(I can’t let them worry.)

I forced a smile on my face and puffed out my chest.

Dorothy: “That’s right. I’m searching for my sweet little Crowlie-Wowley.”

Heartmann: “You know, I saw him in the garden. He was talking with the gardener and craft master.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

Heartmann: “Oh, but, well…that was a couple hours ago, so…”

Leonardo: “If he’s not in the garden,k he should be working in his room or reading in the library.”

Leonardo: “Those are about the only places he’ll be.”

(The garden, his room, or the library… He’s probably in one of those, but which one?)

(Crowlie’s got to be…in the library.)

Dorothy: “I’ll pay the library a visit.”

Heartmann: “You’re not going to the garden?”

Dorothy: “You saw him there a few hours ago, right? I don’t think he’ll still be there.”

Leonardo: “Good point.”

Heartmann: “Good thinking.”

Leonardo: “Crowlie does like the library. He’s probably there, so check it out.”

Dorothy: “Thanks.”

12.7

When I moved to go to the library, however, Heartmann stopped me.

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”
Dorothy: “What?”
Heartmann: “Nothing’s wrong, right?”
He looked at me with worried eyes.
Dorothy: “Nothing’s wrong, don’t worry. Things are going well between us.”
I answered with the most natural smile I could muster.
Heartmann: “Good to hear it. Sorry to stop you.”
Leonardo: “Man, you worry too much.”
Heartmann: “And you don’t worry enough.”
Dorothy: “Thanks for worrying about us. Oh, by the way…”
I changed the subject so they wouldn’t figure out I was hiding something.
Dorothy: “Crowlie might just make a wonderful announcement soon.”
Leonardo: “Really? What kind?”
Heartmann: “You’re not getting married, are you?”
Leonardo: “Wait, what?! Are you?!”
Dorothy: “Oh, who knows?”
Leonardo: “Hey, isn’t it a little early for marriage?”
Heartmann: “Yeah, I think you should at least date a little more.”
Leonardo: “No reason to be rushing into marriage!”
12.8
 
Dorothy: “No reason to act so shocked, either.”
Leonardo: “I’m not shocked, just…surprised!”
Dorothy: “Well, don’t worry, it’s not going to be a marriage announcement.”
Heartmann: “Then what’ll it be?”
Leonardo: “Beats me…”
Dorothy: “Crowlie’s going to do something about making a place for the people to relax.”
Heartmann: “Now that should be something I can learn from. Looking forward to it.”
Dorothy: “Haha… Well, I’ll see you later, then.”
(Phew…Heartmann almost picked up on it.)
I let out a breath of relief at managing to fib my way through the situation.
(All right, off to the library…)
I hurried to my destination.
I opened the heavy door and stepped in to find myself engulfed by a deep silence.
Being surrounding by walls of books nearly crushed my already heavy heart.
Dorothy: “Crowlie, are you there?”
I called his name and headed into the back to see him sitting down, passionately absorbed in a book.
Dorothy: “Crowlie…”
He looked up.
Crowlie: “Dorothy, is something wrong?”
Dorothy: “Not exactly, I was just…curious about what you were up to.”

He replied with a gentle smile.

12.9

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 24,000

Crowlie: “And just when did you become so adorably needy?”

(It’d be way too embarrassing to say since falling in love…)

Dorothy: “Well, I wouldn’t say needy, but… Say, what are you reading?”

Crowlie: “What do you think I’m reading?”

(This question seems awfully familiar. All right, the type of book he’d be most likely to read now is…)

(Come to think of it, Heartmann said Crowlie was with a worker in the garden…)

Dorothy: “Are you reading a book about building parks?” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Correct! HOw did you know?”

Dorothy: “Well you did say you wanted to open up the garden to everyone.

Crowlie: “And I’ve got to make a park the people will like if I’m going to make one at all.”

Crowlie: “I won’t be able to make the perfect park just ordering the builders to do this and that.”

Dorothy: “You really are thinking about the people.”

Crowlie: “Well, I am the king.”

He let out a bashful smile.

(I can’t take such a wonderful king away from the people…)

Crowlie: “Is something the matter?”

Dorothy: “O-Oh, nothing…”

Crowlie: “Really? You looked a little pained for a moment there.”

(Maybe I should talk to him about it?)

(But if I do…he’ll probably say he wants to go to Kansas with me.)

(Something he cannot do as king.)

12.10

Dorothy: “It’s nothing. Really.”

(I can’t bring it up… If I do, it’ll just hurt him.)

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

He put down his book and stood up, then gently stroked my hair.

Crowlie: “If there’s anything you need, no matter how small, just talk to me about it.”

Dorothy: “A-All right…”

Crowlie: “What is it that worries you so?”

His clear eyes peered into mine.

(What should…what should I say…?)

(I’m so scared that this joy will just disappear…)

Dorothy: “Hold me…” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “That’s what you want? Someone’s needy. Adorably so.”

Crowlie gently embraced me.

(I want to be just…a little closer…)

I put my hands around his band and held him tight.

Crowlie: “Adorably needy. I’m really glad you are, though.”

His warmth wiped my worry away.

(I just want to stay like this forever…)

(If I don’t let him see me worried, he won’t worry, either…)

12.11

Dorothy: “They Crowlie, can you make a rainbow bridge in the park you’re going to make?”

Crowlie: “A rainbow bridge?”

Dorothy: “Like that rainbow road that we used to come to Oz from Kansas…”

Crowlie: “I’m afraid I can’t use magic, so…”

Crowlie let out a small groan, appearing to go deep into thought.”

Dorothy: “Well, it doesn’t have to be an actual rainbow bridge. I just think it would be nice to have one in the park, even if it isn’t a real one.”

Crowlie: “I see. That is quite an interesting idea. It’s sort of a symbol of Oz, after all.”

Dorothy: “Can you make one?”

Crowlie: “Well, I read about something that might come in handy in a book. A prism lens.”

Dorothy: “A prism lens?”

Crowlie: “When you shine light through it, it divides the light into seven colors, like a rainbow.”

Dorothy: “Wow, that sounds like magic.”

Crowlie: “I’ll look into it some more. I might find some good ideas.”

I softly pulled away and looked up to see Crowlie’s eyes sparkling in delight.

Crowlie: “You know, when the park is finished, I’ll have a pair of silver shoes made for you. Just like the ones you had before.”

The shoes I’d worn in the journey, with all the nostalgia that came with them.

Dorothy: “Really?”

Crowlie: “We’ll walk around the park together with you wearing them.”

Crowlie: “…Holding hands, too.”

Dorothy: “…”

(I probably won’t get to see that beautiful park when it gets done…)

(But you know what? I’m going to enjoy my time with Crowlie until I have to go back to Kansas.)

I reached out and touched his cheek.

12.12

Crowlie: “Haha, what’s gotten into you?”

Dorothy: “I just want to touch you. Is that wrong?”

(I’ll leave Crowlie’s warmth as a mark in my heart, then go back…

Crowlie: “Not at all.”

He put his hand atop mine on his cheek.

Dorothy: “So warm…”

Crowlie: “My cheek? Or my hand?”

Dorothy: “You are, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “It’s because I”m so happy. And you’re quite warm, yourself.”

Dorothy: “Because I”m just as happy.”

We gazed at each other, and our faces slowly drew closer.

They met, as did our lips.

The sweetness spread across my whole being, numbing the worries in my heart.

(I just want to forget everything…)

Pulling my lips away, I whispered to him, voice trembling.

Dorothy: “Kiss me more…”

Crowlie: “You don’t have to ask me.”

Our lips came together again, this time more passionately.

(Like magic, all my worries are fading away…)

And yet, the dread stewing in my chest would not disappear.

The deeper our love grew, the deeper my fear.

Yet at the same time, I felt the joy of having our love grow so…

Crowlie: “I love you, Dorothy.”

(I’ll just hold onto this happiness until my birthday…)

Though it was probably nothing but a falsehood…

But you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not when you’re dreaming.

(And if Oz is a dreamworld to me, well, this joy is going to be my reality until I get to Kansas…)

It was almost my 17th birthday. The clock was ticking, with the end of the dream drawing ever closer.

To Be Honest

Crowlie: “Dorothy, there’s something I’d like to talk with you about…”

Dorothy: “What is it?”

Crowlie: “Norton was talking to you about when he kissed you before, right?”

Dorothy: “Yeah. You really helped out by showing up at the right time, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “Well, I happened to overhear your conversation…”

(Say, it’s Dorothy and Lord Norton. What are they talking about, I wonder?)

Norton: “You remember when we first met, I trust?”

Dorothy: “I do, but…what about it?”

Norton: “When we first met, I kissed your forehead.

Crowlie: “What…?!”

(Lord Norton kissed Dorothy?!)

Dorothy: “But, that was…”

(What is he talking about? She’s my girlfriend!)

Dorothy: “Well…”

(She’s in trouble! I’ve got to help her!)

Norton: “You remember the feel of my lips, don’t you?”

Dorothy: “…!”

Crowlie: “?!”

(What’s this strangled feeling in my chest…?!)

(I’m sad, and I…I can’t move…)

Crowlie: “When Toto barked, I came back to my senses…”

Crowlie: “I felt jealous of Lord Norton, and when I thought that he might do something, I…seethed with rage.”

Dorothy: “You didn’t look like that to me, though…”

Crowlie: “I remembered right away, that it was Lord Norton who met you first…”

Crowlie: “I realized how sad that fact made me.”

Dorothy: “Oh…but isn’t it more important I love you the most, even though I didn’t meet you first?”

Crowlie: “Dorothy…! You’re right! I think that’s far more important, too!”

Chapter 13: Not Letting Me Go (12/12)

13.1

The day before my birthday.

(So, tomorrow’s my birthday…)

The fateful day was a mere 24 hours away, and I still didn’t know what to do.

(Is going back to Kansas the only thing I can do…?)

Toto: *Whine*

Toto looked up at me with worried eyes.

Dorothy: “Hey, Toto…what do you think I should do?”

Toto: “?”

Toto tilted his head.

Dorothy: “I guess you don’t understand how I feel…”

Toto: *Whine*

Dorothy: “When I think I’m going to leave Crowlie, I just feel for him more and more…”

(There’s got to be something I can do…)

Toto: “…!”

Toto’s ears shot up, and he looked towards the castle.

I looked too, to see Crowlie come running.

Crowlie: “There you are, Dorothy!”

I quickly put on a smile to hide my worry.

Dorothy: “What’s wrong?”

13.2

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon is soon to arrive, so can I ask that you prepare to see him?”

Dorothy: “Wait, Solomon’s coming…?”

(He’s probably coming since tomorrow’s my birthday…)

When I realized that, my unease only increased.

Crowlie: “Let’s go, then. Everyone’s waiting.”

Crowlie held my hand, but I turned around and looked to the garden.

(I didn’t get to see the park that was supposed to be here…)

I probably wasn’t going to see this garden again.

So at the very least, I wanted to burn the sight of this beautiful garden into my eyes one last time.

Crowlie: “Is something amiss?”

Dorothy: “N-No, nothing.”

Crowlie: “Let us hurry.”

Hands linked, we went on our way.

Dorothy: “Sorry I’m late!”

Everyone had already gathered to welcome Solomon.

Oz: “Finally here, huh? We were worried.”

Heartmann: “Glad you made it. What were you doing?”

13.3

Dorothy: “Just looking around the garden…”

Leonardo: “And making us worry!”

Heartmann and Leonardo let out a sigh of relief as they smiled at us.

Toto: “Woof!”

Leonardo: “So, Toto’s with you. Well, Lord Solomon’s on his way, so best behavior, all right?”

When I stood next to Crowlie, Oz brought his face close and whispered into my ear.

Oz: “Tomorrow’s the Big Day. Made your decision?”

Dorothy: “…”

I couldn’t answer him and straightened my posture.

Guard: “Lord Solomon has arrived.”

The door opened, and in came Solomon.

Solomon: “Looks like everyone’s here.”

Solomon floated towards us with a smile, hovering slightly over the ground.

Norton followed behind him.

Norton: “…”

Crowlie: “Where is the Wizard of the West?”

Norton: “He’s back at Quadlings castle at present.”

Leonardo: “Now we’re talking.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Solomon: “Dorothy, have you enjoyed the Emerald City in full?”

13.4

Dorothy: “It’s such a wonderful city, how could I not?”

Leonardo: “Wasn’t all fun and games, though.”

Leonardo interjected with a whisper.

Heartmann: “Leonardo, some things are better left unsaid.”

Heartmann hurriedly covered Leonardo’s mouth.

Crowlie: “Ahem!”

Oz strained out a smile at Crowlie’s cough.

Solomon: “Hm? Did something happen? Now that sounds interest. Let’s hear it.”

Solomon looked at my face with an impossibly inquisitive expression.

Dorothy: “Oh, well, um…”

(Leonardo, did you have to go and open your big mouth…? Oh, what am I going to say…?)

Dorothy: “Er…well…”

As I mulled over and internally debated how to best bring the topic up, Crowlie came in and spoke for me.

Crowlie: “Dorothy and I are now officially dating.” (Intimacy +7)

Solomon: “Oh? You went and announced it?”

Crowlie: “We did.”

Dorothy: “I’m really glad I picked him.”

Leonardo: “It was a really great announcement.”

Heartmann: “We’re really glad for them.”

Oz: “…”

Solomon: “That’s wonderful news.”

Crowlie: “We are truly happy now.”

Norton: “…”

13.5

Solomon: “Well, I’m relieved to hear that. Aren’t you, Norton?”

Norton: “Indeed. I must wonder, though, what Wesley will say when he hears this.”

Crowlie: “He can say whatever he wishes. As I am now, I won’t fall behind him…”

Solomon: “Hear that, Norton? Love makes people stronger.”

Norton: “It would appear so.”

Leonardo: “I’m not going to let Wesley complain at them.”

Heartmann: “If he tries to hurt you at all, we’ll protect you two.”

Dorothy: “Aw, thanks!’

Solomon: “And tomorrow, I will throw you a glorious birthday party in the land of the Quadlings.”

(My birthday party…and when it ends, I’ll…)

I started to feel heavy, like I’d swallowed some lead.

Heartmann: “Your birthday’s finally here, huh? Looking forward to it.”

Norton: “With that, we would like you in Quadlings by tomorrow.

Oz: “So you’ve come to get us, then.”

Crowlie: “…Well, we had better get ready.”

Solomon: “We can leave tomorrow instead, if you’d like. We’ll take a carriage, so we’ll be in Quadlings in two shakes.”

Oz: “Glad to hear it. I don’t think my legs can take another half day’s trip.”

Leonardo: “Aw, but it’s so fun to walk…”

Oz; “Don’t put me in with you guys. I’m the civilized one here — I’ve actually been a human all my life.”

Dorothy: “…”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, is something wrong?”

13.6

Dorothy: “Wh-What…?”

Leonardo: “Looks like she’s too excited to hear anything!”

Oz: “What, you didn’t hear my incisive jape?”

Before I knew it, everyone was looking at me.

Dorothy: “I was listening, really…and I’m looking forward to tomorrow, too.”

All I could do for now was force a smile as I hid my overwhelming worry.

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon, I have tea prepared, if you’d like.”

Solomon: “Oh, I would love some.”

Crowlie: “This way, then.”

Crowlie headed with Solomon and Norton deeper into the castle.

(I should be so excited for my birthday party, but it just feels so painful…)

Putting a lid over my pained heart, I slowly trailed behind them.

As we got ready to head out to Quadlings, night had fallen upon us.

Dorothy: “Night already, huh Toto?”

Toto: *Whine*

The sun was long down outside, with shining stars in its place.

(When the sun comes back up, I’ll be 17…)

(And when the party ad Quadlings is over, I’ll have to go back to Kansas…)

13.7

Dorothy: “Maybe I should just not go home. Maybe I should just…just stay here, in Oz.”

Toto: “…?”

That, too, was a choice.

(If I stay here, I can stay with Crowlie…)

(But my aunt and uncle are back in Kansas…)

Dorothy: “I bet they’re worried sick.”

(Work back at the farm has to be rough without me to do chores, too…)

In that light, I had to go back home.

(I guess I have to break things off with Crowlie…)

No matter how hard I thought, I couldn’t come up with a satisfying answer.

(What should I do…?)

An image of Crowlie floated up in my mind, smiling with those clears eyes of his.

(I really, really don’t want to break up with him…)

I remembered the feeling of his fingers touching my hair.

(Crowlie…)

The warmth of his hand on my cheek came back too, as did the sweet sensation of his lips on mine.

(I love you, Crowlie…)

My chest groaned in pain, as if someone had grabbed it and wouldn’t let go.

(I want to stray with you…)

13.8

Tears gushed from my eyes, and there was nothing I could do.

Toto: *Whine*

Toto pushed his nose against me, as if to comfort me.

(I feel like my heart’s going to burst. I can’t take this anymore…!)

Dorothy: “I’m sorry, Toto. Can you stay here…?”

At that, Toto curled up obediently on the bed.

I wiped my tears, left Toto in my room, and headed to Crowlie.

When I knocked and opened his door, Crowlie turned to me with a smile.

Crowlie: “Are you ready to…?”

Dorothy: “…”

The moment I looked at Crowlie’s face, the tears I’d been holding back threatened to burst out.

Crowlie: “…?!”

Before I could burst into tears, though, Crowlie gently stroked my cheek.

Crowlie: “Why the sad face?”

Dorothy: “…”

I wanted to tell him why, but didn’t know how to say it.

(What should I do…?)

(Tomorrow’s the party, so I probably won’t have a good chance to talk to him about this.)

(Let me just come clean…) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Crowlie, there’s something I need to tell you.”

Crowlie: “Looks like you finally want to talk.”

Crowlie’s voice was gentle.

Dorothy: “What…?”

Crowlie: “I noticed that you’d seemed a little strange.

(He saw through me…)

Crowlie: “But I thought you would talk to me when you’re ready, so I waited.”

(He believed in me…!)

13.9

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 33,000

Dorothy: “I’m sorry…it’s just really hard to say…”

Crowlie had his eyes squarely on me, ready for what would come.

(I have to tell him…)

And yet, I couldn’t say anything.

Crowlie: “All right, let’s hear it.”

I tried to gather my resolve and talk, but a wave or worry swallowed me up.

(If I tell him, that’ll be the end of our happiness…)

(I wanted to keep it, to hold onto this joy until my birthday ended, but…can I really give it all up tonight?)

Dorothy: “…”

I couldn’t take the dread and the sadness. My hands started to shake of their own accord.

(I’m so scared, of…of telling him what’s going on, of leaving him…)

Dorothy: “Crowlie!”

Still unable to say anything, I just threw my arms around him.

(I’m too scared to tell him…)

I buried my face into his chest and fiercely held my tears back.

The hands I had around his back were still quivering.

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

Crowlie held me tight.

Crowlie: “…”

(Crowlie, I…)

Crowlie: “….Please don’t go back…”

13.10

Dorothy: “?!”

My eyes went wide at his whisper in my ear.

(Wait, what did he just…?)

Did I mishear him?

Crowlie: “I knew why, Dorothy. I knew why you were in such pain…”

(You did…?)

Crowlie: “You’ll have to go back to Kansas after your birthday, right?”

I nodded a little, with my arms still around him.

Crowlie: “I thought that might be what’s hurting you so.”

Dorothy: “…”

(Crowlie really knows me.)

Crowlie: “I was worried about that, too.”

(You were?!)

Crowlie: “But I couldn’t say anything. Do you know why?”

Dorothy: “Because you were scared to lose our happiness if you did?” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “Right. I did not wish to lose the joy between us.”

Crowlie: “I was too afraid to accept that fact.”

(Just like me!)

Dorothy: “I’m the same way…”

Crowlie: “Yet I cannot abandon my people to go with you to Kansas. Not as long as I am the king of this city…”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

Crowlie, too, was under the painful grip of cold reality.

The single strand of good in the sea of bad was how he was thinking calmly, from his position as king.

(It would be terrible on the people if he gave up his position for me…)

13.11

Crowlie: “So it wasn’t something I could talk about, even if I wished to.”

Crowlie: “I knew that you were in pain, but I knew I couldn’t push my own feelings on you, either.”

(So he was waiting for me to come to him…)

Crowlie: “To be honest, I actually thought about…about giving up on you.”

Dorothy: “You did…?”

Crowlie: “That’s…that’s why I wanted to make a park of the garden…”

Dorothy: “The park…?”

Crowlie turned his eyes to the window.

Though it was dark, I could see the beautiful garden outside, lit by the moon.

Crowlie: “The reason I wanted to make a brick road in the park, too, was so I could give our memories a physical form.”

Crowlie: “Then I’d be able to let you go…”

(So that’s why…)

Crowlie: “Yet, since you were looking forward to the park, the idea came to me…”

Crowlie: “…that I may be able to keep you here. Just maybe.”

Dorothy: “But wasn’t it requested in the petitions…?”

Crowlie: “Well, that wasn’t a lie. I thought of it while reading the petitions.”

Crowlie: “But then I realized, that even if I did that…”

Crowlie: “…I could not possibly let go of my love for you.”

Crowlie: “I want to be with you far more than I want memories of you.”

Crowlie: “I can lie to myself no longer…”

13.12

His arms around me held me tighter.

Crowlie: “Please, don’t go. I want you to stay in Oz!”

(Oh, Crowlie…I wish I could stay, too…!)

(But…)

Crowlie: “I know that saying this will only hurt you…”

Crowlie: “But I want to be with you, Dorothy. I love you!”

I looked up to see him gazing down at me with resolute eyes.

(We’re so in love…why do we have to be separated?)

Oz had said it before. Oz was a land of dreams, and Kansas was reality.

The worlds Crowlie and I lived in were far too different.

(Does that mean we can’t be together? That we can’t love each other?)

My unquenchable rage, my boundless sadness, threatened to tear my body and mind asunder.

(Hold me tighter, Crowlie…or I’ll just fall apart…)

He moment I thought that, however…

Crowlie: “Please, don’t go back…”

With that whisper, Crowlie kissed my lips.

As if to seal off an answer he didn’t want to hear. Or…

…to reflexively express his love.

(Crowlie, I love you too.)

All I could do was give myself to his sweet, heartrending kiss.

Best Memory of the Journey

Dorothy: “Being together with everyone like this really reminds me of the journey we took back then.”

Crowlie: “I have so many memories of that journey.”

Dorothy: “What’s your best one?”

Leonardo: “When you slept on me like a pillow!”

Dorothy: “Haha…thanks to you, I slept really well.”

Heartmann: “I cried a lot back then…”

Leonardo: “You still cry a lot now, too!”

Heartmann: “Yeah, because I”m not worried about my body rusting over anymore.”

Dorothy: “How about you, Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “My best memory was when I first met you, Dorothy.”

Crowlie: “Until then, all I did was stay stuck on my stick in the corn field, scaring away crows.”

Crowlie: “Then, all of a sudden, a single girl appeared. And thanks to her, I was able to know a much wider world.”

Dorothy: “And that’s your best memory?”

Crowlie: “it’s not an exaggeration to say that I was completely reborn on that day.”

Heartmann: “I know just how you feel!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, me too.”

Crowlie: “That was where I began, as a person.”

Crowlie: “Which is why I’m just so glad that I got to see you again, Dorothy.”

Crowlie: “I’m so grateful that you came back to Oz. Thank you.”

Chapter 14: My Big Day (/)

14.1

The sun had risen, bringing with it my 17th birthday.

Coming to Oz to celebrate, I was made to choose a boyfriend and picked Crowlie.

Though we had our conflicts, with the help of Heartmann and Leonardo, we became true partners.

However, once my birthday was over, I would have to go back to Kansas. That meant I would have to leave my beloved behind.

And as my love for him only deepened, my birthday was upon me, and I had no idea what to do.

Crowlie: “The day’s here.”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

Crowlie: “You needn’t look so down. It’s your Big Day, after all.”

Crowlie smiled gently.

Dorothy: “But…”

(Once this day ends…)

Crowlie: “Everyone’s here to celebrate, so please…smile, for them.”

(He’s right…it would be rude to everyone if I looked sad, and I’d ruin the birthday party, too.)

Crowlie: “Come on, now, let’s see a smile. Happy birthday!”

Crowlie lightly put a kiss on my cheek.

Dorothy: “Thank you, Crowlie.”

I responded with a smile.

Crowlie: “It’ll be all right. I will be by your side until the day ends.”

14.2

Oz: “I know, right? I’d totally forgotten before I came here.”

Wesley: “Why, you…!”

Dorothy: “I hadn’t forgotten you. You might not be the nicest guy around, but I think we’d be worse off without you.”

Wesley: “In that case, I can let it slide.”

Wesley turned away, his face a little red.

Oz: “What’re you getting all bashful for? She paid you a compliment. At least act happy.”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around!”

Seeing Wesley rage with his face beet red, however, had everyone burst out laughing.

Norton: “Well, we’re all here.”

Solomon: “Seventeen form today, huh? Happy birthday, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Solomon.

Oz; “Happy birthday, little miss. Here’s a present from me.”

Oz clasps his hands then opened them up to reveal a small bouquet.

Oz: “Here you go.”

Dorothy: “Wow! Thanks!”

When I took the bouquet, Leonardo pushed Oz away.

Leonardo: “Hey, Oz, no head starts! Anyway…happy birthday, Dorothy!”

Leonardo threw his arms open and started to lunge at me, ready to hug me, before Heartmann pushed him away.

14.6

Heartmann: “You’re only 17 once. I pray that you’ll have a happy year.”

Wesley: “Oh, real smooth!”

Wesley kicked Heartmann away.

Wesley: “Dorothy, I may grace you with my blessing. You may be grateful.”

Dorothy: “Uh…thanks.”

Crowlie: “Hahaha!”

Leonardo: “Crowlie, what are you laughing about?”

Heartmann: “Guess he’d have to be that confidence after they went and told us all they were dating…”

Wesley: “Wait, dating? No one told me!”

Oz: “This is why loners are just no fun to hang around.”

Wesley: “Who’re you calling a loner?!”

Crowlie: “Oh? What’s that? Does the Wizard of the West want our attention?”

Wesley: “I don’t need your attention! And stop making fun of me!”

Norton: “Everyone certainly is as energetic as ever…”

Solomon: “Let them be, Norton. Today’s a special day.”

Norton: “…Indeed.”

(A special day? Is my birthday really that special?)

14.7

Oz: “Hey, Dorothy, how about trying to get a present out of Solomon?”

Dorothy: “Huh?”

Leonardo: “That’s a good idea! IT’s your birthday — go on, ask him for something!”

(Hm, what do I want…?)

Dorothy: “I’m just glad you’re throwing this birthday party.” (Intimacy +7)

Solomon: “Really? Is that all you wish for?”

Dorothy: “Well, having a birthday party in Oz is like a dream come true to me.”

Oz: “Tch… Could stand to want a little more, y’know.”

Wesley: “Should have asked Solomon for something that’d really give him a run for his money.”

Crowlie: “Actually, I think this is very much like Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “You’re right, and that’s why we love her.”

Leonardo: “Yep!”

Solomon: “Well, Dorothy, how about this? I’ll give you a dress to wear at the party.”

Dorothy: “Really? I can have one?”

Solomon: “Of course. GO ahead and choose whichever dress you’d like from the wardrobe.”

Dorothy: “Thank you very much!”

Crowlie: “Looking forward to the dress, Dorothy.”

14.8

Dorothy: “Me too!”

Leonardo: “I’m looking forward to the dress, too!”

Heartmann: “I’m sure you’ll pick a beautiful one.”

Crowlie: “Well, everything looks good on Dorothy.”

Oz: “I’ll acknowledge that.”

Everyone looked at me and seemed to imagine this and that.

Wesley just looked at the others in exasperation.

Wesley: “What’re you guys getting all grinny about?”

Toto: *Crunch*

Toto bit Wesley’s foot.

Wesley: “Ouch! What do you think you’re doing, you stupid dog?!”

Leonardo grappled the raging Wesley, stopping him from getting out of hand.

Leonardo: “Do it, Toto, bit ‘im again!”

Wesley: “Unhand me, you fool!”

Heartmann: “Leonardo, I’ll help out!”

Seeming to enjoy themselves, everyone grappled with Wesley.

Wesley: “I told you to stop messing with me!”

(Should I…stop this?)

(I guess I’ll ask Solomon.) (Intimacy +7)

I asked Solomon with a little smile.

Dorothy: “Solomon, we should stop them, right?”

Solomon strained out a smile as he saw Wesley in everyone’s grip.

Solomon: “Wesley…he’s changed, too.”

Dorothy: “Huh?”

Solomon: “He’s the Wizard of the West. One shot of his magic’d be all it takes to get them off him.”

Dorothy: “Then you mean Wesley’s letting them do that on purpose…?”

Solomon: “Something’s possibly started to change inside him, ever since meeting you and the others.”

(Really…? He hasn’t gotten any less foulmouthed, though.)

14.9

Norton: “Lord Solomon, I do believe this has gone on long enough…”

Solomon: “True. Everyone, lend me your ears!”

Everyone stopped at the sound of Solomon’s voice.

Solomon: “It’s about time for the party. Everyone, let us be off to the dance hall.”

Leonardo: “It’s finally time?!”

Solomon: “Dorothy, will you change into your dress?”

Dorothy: “I’ll go do that.”

Crowlie: “Then we’ll be waiting at the dance hall.”

When everyone headed to the hall, Solomon looked to me.

Solomon: “There is something I’d like to tell you, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “What is it?”

Solomon: “When your birthday comes to a close, the path connecting our two worlds will vanish.”

Dorothy: “You mean the rainbow bridge between Oz and Kansas?”

My heart sank in an instant.

Solomon: “Our worlds will be locked off.”

Dorothy: “But…!”

(Then if I go back to Kansas, I won’t ever be able to come back to Oz!)

14.10

The tiny hope that I’d be able to come back to Oz someday vanished.

(If I leave Crowlie tonight, I’ll really never see him again…)

Solomon: “Which is why I want you to enjoy tonight’s party as much as you can.”

(Enjoy it? How can I enjoy it when…?)

Solomon: “Come now, show us a smile. You’re the star of tonight’s party!”

(Everyone’s looking forward to this party…)

(I can’t make them worry…)

Norton: “Now, let us be off to the wardrobe.”

With Toto by my side, I headed for the wardrobe.

Dorothy: “Wow!”

Toto: “Woof!”

I stepped into the wardrobe to see a wide array of dresses hanging left and right, all different from last time.

Dorothy: “There are so many wonderful dresses! Oh, I don’t know which one to pick!”

Maid: “Tonight is a party the whole country will be watching, so I would recommend you find one of sufficient glamour.”

Dorothy: “True, but…which one should I pick…”

14.11

Love Choice

Premium: Royal Party Dress (Blue) 900 Coins

Normal: Simple Party Dress (Red) 490 Coins or 35,000 Spinels

After changing into my dress, I headed for the hall.

(It’s time for my birthday party. This’ll be my last night here, so I’ve got to smile!)

Dorothy: “Let’s go, Toto.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Taking a deep breath before the dance hall, I opened the large door.”

Dorothy: “I’m here!”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, that dress is wonderful. It looks perfect on you.”

Dorothy: “Aw, thank you.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, look at all the people here for your party!”

There were far more people in the dance hall than there were last time.

Dorothy: “Wow!”

Leonardo: “Looks like people from all over Oz are here. Even critters from the grand old forest!”

I followed Leonardo’s eyes to see some monkeys looking nervously our way.

Solomon: “Everyone, thank you for gathering here to celebrate Dorothy’s Big Day.”

Everyone listened to Solomon as he floated in the air.

Solomon: “Today, Dorothy turns 17! Happy birthday, Dorothy!”

Crowlie: “Happy birthday!”

Heartmann: “Happy birthday!”

Leonardo: “And many more!”

The crowd all wished me happy birthday.

Dorothy: “Thank you, everyone! Thank you, Oz!”

The hall filled with cheers at my thanks.

Oz: “17, huh? Congrats. Welcome to adulthood.”

Dorothy: “Thank you.”

Oz: “This is one of those once in a lifetime days, so enjoy it while you can.”

Dorothy: “Don’t forget to have fun yourself, Oz.”

I replied with a smile, coaxing a small smile from him.

Oz; “Heh…you really have grown up.”

Wesley: “Since it’s your birthday, I’ll let you off easy and go enjoy myself.”

Solomon: “And now begins the birthday party!”

The band started playing, and everyone began to dance.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, may I have this dance?”

Crowlie stepped up and held out his hand.

Dorothy: “Gladly.”

I took Crowlie’s hand, and he gently good the lead.

Dorothy: “Just like the ball, huh?”

Crowlie: “We both had our reservations back then, but not anymore.”

We gazed into each other’s eyes as we danced.

(Oh, so much has happened…and nothing I can forget, either.)

[Spoiler Warning!] (Chapter 14 CG)

Dorothy: “There was a lot of good and bad, but…I’m glad I had the chance to love you, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “And I you, Dorothy.”

We looked deeply into each other’s eyes, smiling all the while, desperately hiding the lurking sadness behind our visages of happiness…

(I just wish time would stop right here…)

This dreamlike time, however, would not stop, and the clock ticked on and on.

14.12

Eventually, the performance ended, leaving behind only faint echoes of its song.

(There’s not much time left…)

Everyone gathered was chattering along, seeming to enjoy themselves.

And though the dance was over, Crowlie wouldn’t let go of my hand.

Heartmann: “That was a wonderful dance.”

Dorothy: “Because you’re so good at leading, Crowlie.”

Wesley: “Hmph…I’ll have you know that my leading’s better.”

Leonardo: “No one asked you.”

Oz: “Well, the party’s just about over with.”

Though he gave it a passing mention, he looked at me from the corner of his eye.

(Time to make a decision…)

(Leave Crowlie and go back to Kansas…)

(…or stay here and live with him.)

(I’ve got to choose one.)

Solomon approached me with Norton at his side.

Solomon: “Well, the party’s coming to a close. You know what to do, right Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “…Yes.”

Crowlie: “…!”

Crowlie stared at me.

Heartmann: “What do you mean?”

Leonardo: “What’s up?”

Oz: “…”

Wesley: “…!”

Norton: “…”

Solomon: “Then I would like to hear your answer, Dorothy.”

Boys Talk between Two Unchosen Ones

Leonardo: “But, you know, I’m really divided…”

Heartmann: “What about?”

Leonardo: “About Crowlie and Dorothy, man. I mean, on one hand, I want to cheer them on, but…”

Heartmann: “You wanted her to pick you, huh?”

Leonardo: “Yeah, of course. Don’t you feel the same way, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “To be honest, I am a little disappointed that I wasn’t.”

Leonardo: “Exactly… I mean, we may be friends, but I feel like Crowlie just went ahead of us.”

Heartmann: “Well, what would you do if she picked you?”

Leonardo: “First, I’d introduce her to the animals back at the forest. I think everyone’d love that.”

Leonardo: “Then I’d propose to her in the forest. Ask her to become its queen.”

Heartmann: “Hahaha! My, you’re in a hurry.”

Leonardo: “How about you, Heartmann? What would you do if she picked you?”

Heartmann: “I’d show her around the country of Winkies. I really want to show her how it’s changed.”

Leonardo: “Winkies, huh… It’s changed a lot since Dorothy last visited it. Man, she’d be so surprised to see it now!”

Heartmann: “If she picked me, that is…”

Leonardo: “Man, I wish she’d pick me…”

True Ending

1

Solomon: “Well, the party’s coming to a close. You know what that means, right, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “…I do.”

I quietly answered.

Crowlie: “…!’

Realizing that the time had come, Crowlie looked at me with a nervous expression.

Heartmann: “What’s going on?”

Leonardo: “Something up…?”

Heartmann and Leonardo noticed that all was not well.

Oz: “So, it’s finally time…”

Wesley: “…!”

Norton: “…”

Solomon: “Well, then. Dorothy, let us hear your answer.”

Heartmann: “Wait, wait! Can you tell us what’s going on?”

Heartmann interrupted with a rare shout.

Leonardo: “I don’t like this, I don’t like this at all. Dorothy and Crowlie and Lord Solomon have gotta be hiding something.”

Leonardo was casting a dubious gaze on us as well.

Crowlie: “Well, there’s a reason…”

Heartmann: “Ah, I thought so.”

Leonardo: “So how about telling us this reason? We’re friends, aren’t we?”

They weren’t angry. l They were just worried about us.

I could tell that by the look on their faces.

Dorothy: “When this party ends, I’ll have to go back to Kansas.”

Leonardo: “Well, yeah. What about that?”

Heartmann: “We all knew that form the start, right?”

Heartmann and Leonardo exchanged curious looks.

Oz explained.

Oz: “Tch…give it some thought, will you? Dorothy and Crowlie are in love.”

Heartmann: “Oh, so they won’t be able to see each other for a while…?”

Dorothy: “For a…while?”

Leonardo: “Well, you just need to take the Rainbow Bridge to see him again, right?”

Solomon: “Dorothy is 17 now. When she goes home, the Rainbow Bridge won’t be coming back.”

Leonardo: “Huh?! Really?!”

Crowlie: “?!”

2

Heartmann: “Wait, does that mean we won’t be able to see Dorothy again…?!”

Solomon: “Essentially.”

Crowlie: “…”

All the color drained from Crowlie’s face and he feel speechless.

Oz: “Looks like you hadn’t heard about the Rainbow Bridge, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “I didn’t expect it to happen immediately, but I thought the bridge would come again eventually…”

Dorothy: “I just heard about this a while ago, too…”

Wesley: “Hah! Talk about your surprise endings!”

Solomon: “It’s not over yet. The ending all depends on Dorothy’s decision.”

Everyone turned their eyes to me.

(It’s all up to me now…)

Crowlie squeezed my hand tighter.

Crowlie: “Whatever you choose, Dorothy, know that I love you.”

Dorothy: “…”

I didn’t answer yet. I took a deep, deep breath.

Norton: “Lord Solomon, are you truly all right with this?”

Norton whispered to Solomon.

Solomon: “I say we believe in Dorothy. Now, let’s hear your answer.”

Dorothy: “I…”

3

Dorothy: “I’ll stay in Oz!”

As I gave my answer, I held Crowlie’s hand as tight as I could.

Crowlie: “Dorothy…?!”

Dorothy: “Crowlie, I want to live in this world with you!”

Crowlie: “Really?! Oh, thank you, Dorothy!”

Crowlie threw his arms around me.

Crowlie: “I won’t let you go, ever!”

Leonardo: “Good for you, Crowlie! Now you can stay with Dorothy!”

Heartmann: “Nothing could be better!”

Leonardo: “Heartmann, come on, don’t cry. You’ll rust up your armor!”

Heartmann: “I’m too moved, my tears won’t stop!”

Solomon: “Dorothy, is that your decision?”

Dorothy: “Yes, I’ve made up my mind. My love for him, his love for me…they’re not part of a dream. They’re both real as can be.”

Solomon: “I see. True love, then. Do you believe in that love?”

Dorothy: “It’s because I believe in it that I’m going to stay in Oz.”

Solomon: “Very well, then. I’ll believe in your love, too.”

Norton: “…!”

Wesley: “Don’t like where this is going, Norton?”

Norton: “No, I… Wesley, are you one to talk? Are you not unsatisfied with this conclusion?”

Wesley: “Not really. Pretty convenient to have her stay here.”

Dorothy: “Convenient?”

Wesley: “Can’t get my revenge if you’re in Kansas.”

Leonardo: “here he goes again, wanting attention.”

Wesley: “H-Hey, shut it!”

Oz: “Wait, wait! Dorothy, are you seriously staying here?”

Dorothy: “Yeah, I really am.”

Oz: “You’re never going to get back to Kansas again, you know? What about your aunt, your uncle?”

Dorothy: “You’re going back, aren’t you, Oz? I’ll write them a letter. Can you hand it to them?”

Oz: “What do I look like, a mailman?”

Dorothy: “Please? I’m sure they’ll understand. I mean, I’ve got happiness waiting for me right here!”

Oz: “…Sheesh.”

Oz let out an exasperated sigh.

4

Oz: “Turned into an adult the minute you hit 17, huh.”

Dorothy: “Will you pass the letter?”

Oz: “Sure, fine, I’ll get it to them. Double my normal price.”

Leonardo: “…How greedy can you get?”

Solomon: “Well then, let us get to today’s final event.”

Dorothy: “Final event?”

Crowlie: “There’s more?”

Solomon: “As proof of your love…I’ll have you two kiss. Right here.”

Dorothy: “Wait, here?!”

Crowlie: “In front of everyone?!”

Leonardo: “C’mon now! Nothing to be embarrassed about, not by now!”

Heartmann: “Yeah. You’re in love, aren’t you?”

The eyes of the crowd in the dance hall all gathered around us.

Crowlie: “Well, if it’ll be proof of our love…”

Crowlie pulled me in and put his arms around me.

Dorothy: “!”

I froze up for a moment out of nervousness.

(I decided to stay in this world. I’m…I’m ready…!)

I lightly raised my chin, and Crowlie held my cheeks in his hands.

Crowlie: “Dorothy…”

With his lusty voice came a gentle kiss on my lips.

A sweet, light sensation filled my body…

…and my feet started to tremble.

(…I’m shaking?)

I felt the shake intensify more and more.

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Toto noticed something and started to bark fiercely.

5

Crowlie: “What’s going on…?”

Crowlie looked up at the ceiling.

Dorothy: “An earthquake…?”

I looked up at the ceiling as well to see the chandelier shaking violently about.

Leonardo: “Hey, it IS an earthquake!”

The tremors got stronger and stronger.

Heartmann: “Brace yourselves, everyone!”

The people started to panic, with dire worry written on their faces.

Dorothy: “Is this what an earthquake’s like…?”

Crowlie: “Don’t worry…I’m with you.”

Crowlie held me tight. Secure.

Yet, he couldn’t hide the confusion on his face.

The dance hall itself started to shake as the ground creaked and groaned.

Norton: “Could this be…?!”

Norton looked to Solomon with eyes of worry.

Surprisingly, Solomon was the only calm one in the hall, ans whispered as if in anticipation.

Solomon: “The prophecy has come true…!”

(The prophecy?)

Oz: “The prophecy?!”

All of the windows flew open at one, and a raging gale poured in.

An avalanche of people scrambled from the dance hall towards the door.

Wesley: “What in blazes is going on here?! Someone explain, now!”

Heartmann: “This isn’t just any earthquake. Look at that!”

The walls and ceilings of the dance hall started to warp and contort, like they were made of candy.

Oz: “The space of the room is bending…?!”

Leonardo: “Whoa, we gotta get outta here!”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, let’s go!”

Crowlie took my hand and started running.

6

Dorothy: “Where are you going?”

I ran behind him, holding onto his hand.

Crowlie: “Outside!”

Heartmann: “We have to hurry!”

I looked back to see the room getting more and more distorted.

Leonardo: “The exit is packed with people. Everyone, over here!”

Leonardo headed for the servants’ door.

And we ran after him.

(Just what’s going on here…?!)

After getting out of the dance hall, we ran down a long corridor.

Crowlie: “We should be able to get outside faster if we go through the great hall.”

Heartmann: “Good idea!”

Dorothy: “Toto, stay close to me!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Leonardo: “I can’t believe your party got ruined like this!”

I turned back to see Oz and Wesley coming with us.

Oz: “I don’t think there’s anywhere we can run.”

Wesley: “Do you know what’s going on?”

Oz: “Got no time to explain…!”

Dorothy: “Oz, Wesley, behind you!”

Oz: “What…?”

Oz turned around to see the spatial contortion had reached his feet.

Oz: “Gah…!”

Wesley: “We’re gonna fall in…!”

7

The contortion came like a wave, catching Wesley’s legs.

The Wizard of the West reflexively grabbed onto Oz’s sleeve.

Oz: “What’d you grab me for?!”

Oz fell down with him…

…and they were both consumed into the goopy, twisted space.

Leonardo: “The Great Oz and the Wizard of the West, they’re…!”

Heartmann: “Don’t stop, Leonardo! Unfortunately, we can’t help them!”

Crowlie: “We’re almost to the great hall!”

Dorothy: “The…great hall…”

Crowlie: “We can get outside by passing through here.”

Leonardo: “Is the whole castle gonna get swallowed up like this?”

We ran through the great hall to find a large door deep inside of it.

Crowlie: “It’s just through this door…!”

Crowlie and the others tried to open it.

Heartmann: “Now this is one heavy door…!”

Leonardo: “Come on, OPEN!”

Throwing all their strength into it, they desperately tried to get the door open.

Dorothy: “Hurry, it’s almost here!”

The contortion continued to devour the great hall, twisting its beautiful walls and ceiling.

Crowlie: “Don’t give up!”

Then, with a great groan of resignation, the door opened a little.

Crowlie: “It’s open!”

Heartmann: “We’ve got to keep holding it open, though… Dorothy, go on ahead!”

Dorothy: “All right…!”

I slipped through the slight opening and dashed outside.

Heartmann: “You’re next, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “But…”

Leonardo: “Just go. Dorothy’s waiting on you!”

Crowlie: “Very well. I’ll go on ahead.”

Crowlie slipped through the opening.

Heartmann: “All right, Toto, go along.”

Leonardo: “Dorothy and Crowlie’re in your hands now.”

Toto: “…Arf!”

Toto ran through the door.

Dorothy: “Hurry, you guys!”

Heartmann: “Can’t hold this door open alone… This is the end of the line for us.”

8

Dorothy: “What?! You can’t be serious!”

Leonardo: “Remember the tea party? How we said we’d protect you two?”

Crowlie: “I’ll hold the door open!”

Heartmann: “Don’t worry about us. Protect Dorothy.”

Crowlie: “Heartmann…!”

Leonardo: “Don’t let go of Dorothy’s hand!”

Crowlie: “Leonardo…!”

Dorothy: “No, it’s…it’s not supposed to happen like this!”

Heartmann: “We’re friends. Comrades.”

Leonardo: “And we always will be.”

With that, the door closed.

(That…that can’t be… To protect us, they…)

Crowlie: “Heartmann…Leonardo…”

Crowlie let out bitter tears.

Toto: *Whine*

The closed door then twisted and contorted.

Crowlie: “We have to leave!”

Crowlie took my hand and we got running.

Dorothy: “Is the same thing going to happen to outside the castle, too…?”

Crowlie: “I don’t know…”

I turned back to see the castle completely consumed and the contortion only spreading.

Dorothy: “It’s going to get us!”

The wave of destruction had nearly caught up to us, in all ever-consuming horror.

(We can’t get away…)

Crowlie came to a stop and fixed his eyes on me.

(Crowlie?)

His clear eyes were brimming with resolution.

And in the next moment, he held me tight.

9

Crowlie: “No matter what happens, we’ll always be together…!”

The safety I felt from being protected by him wiped away my horror.

Dorothy: “We’ll always…be together.”

The moment the wave came upon us, I shut my eyes.

???: “Dorothy…”

(Someone’s calling my name.)

???: “Dorothy, open your eyes?”

I opened my eyes to see Crowlie, looking worried.

Crowlie: “Oh, thank goodness! You’re awake!”

Crowlie let out a sigh of relief.

Dorothy: “What happened to us?!”

Crowlie: “See for yourself.”

As he helped me up, I took a look around.

(Huh? Am I seeing things?!)

Close to use was someplace unforgettable to me. My house, in Kansas.

(We’re…back in Kansas…?)

Yet, behind my house was the Emerald City.

Dorothy: “Huh?!”

(Wait, am I dreaming…?!)

???: “Our two worlds have merged into one.”

(What?)

I turned around to see Solomon. Norton was with him, too.

Dorothy: “What do you mean?”

Solomon: “In the land of Oz, we have a prophecy that goes like this.”

Solomon: “When the chosen one shares a kiss with her true love on her 17th birthday…”

Solomon: “…the two worlds will become one and prosper for all eternity.”

Solomon: “And you, Dorothy, are the chosen one.”

Dorothy: “Me? Then when you said today was the Big Day, you meant…”

Crowlie: “…this. Indeed.”

Solomon: “The love between the two of you has brought our two worlds together.”

10

Dorothy: “Then what was that weird wave thing?”

Norton: “A phenomenon to cause the fusion, it seems.”

Solomon: “Think of it like stirring milk you put in your tea.”

Solomon: “You stir it around and around to make it an even mix, don’t you?”

Crowlie: “That example certain is..easy to understand.”

Dorothy: “Wait, where’s everyone else?”

Solomon: “They’re unharmed, of course.”

Crowlie: “Toto’s gone to get them.”

I felt relieved hearing that.

(Phew…I’m glad Heartmann and Leonardo are all right.)

Then, I heard Toto barking in the distance.

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

With Toto taking the lead, two familiar faces ran my way.

Leonardo: “Dorothy! Crowlie! Isn’t this world something?”

Dorothy: “You guys!”

Heartmann: “I’m so glad we got to see each other again…! Hahaha…!”

Seeing Heartmann laugh as he cried, Crowlie strained out a smile.

Crowlie: “Do you want to laugh or cry? Pick one.”

Oz: “So, that’s what the prophecy meant…”

Crowlie: “Oz, you knew of the prophecy as well?”

Oz: “I heard a different one. Doubted its legitimacy, though.”

Solomon: “You weren’t the only one to doubt it, Great Oz.”

Solomon looked to Norton.

Norton: “Well, it was not quite that I doubted it, but…”

Wesley: “So that’s what seemed shifty about you.”

Solomon: “Norton was worried about the Land of Oz. Worried that it would disappear in the fusion.”

Norton: “Lord Solomon, you had noticed…?”

Solomon nodded with a smile.

Dorothy: “But my, what a beautiful world this is! Oz and Kansas, together!”

Crowlie: “Now we can all be together.”

11

Leonardo: “Oh yeah, we’ve gotta go say hi to Dorothy’s aunt and uncle.”

Heartmann: “True. We are going to live in the same world from now on.”

Dorothy: “You can meet the original Toto, too.”

Leonardo: “He’s still alive?!”

Dorothy: “No one said he was dead. He’s just living with my relatives now.”

Dorothy: “This little fella came along with me, so I decided to take him in.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Heartmann: “Well, I’d love to see him again!”

Oz: “So dreams and reality have collided…a perfectly ideal world.”

Dorothy: “Looks like a fun place to take a balloon trip through.”

Oz: “You’ve all always got seats on my balloon. Best rates anywhere.”

Everyone laughed.

(So this is the world the love Crowlie and I made…)

(I wonder what kind of world it’ll turn into…)

Crowlie softly put his arm around my shoulders.

Crowlie: “I think this world’ll turn out great.”

Dorothy: “I think so, too.”

A few days later, everyone had come to visit my house.

Crowlie: “It’s so nice and calming here. It’s such a comfortable place.”

Dorothy: “Really? I don’t think it’s very comfortable compared to the castle, though.”

Leonardo: “That’s because it’s a farm.”

Heartmann: “Want to try standing in the field?”

Wesley: “Bet you’d look really fitting out there.”

Crowlie: “Hey, I’m not a scarecrow anymore! And besides, what are you doing here, Wesley?”

Leonardo: “Just don’t want to be alone, do you?”

Wesley: “N-No…! I’m just waiting for a chance to get my revenge!”

Heartmann: “Come on, drop the act.”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around!”

Then, Oz came along.

12

Oz; “Same as always, huh?”

Crowlie: “Wait, Oz, what brings you here?”

Oz; “I helped out her uncle with work and got some vegetables.”

Oz showed us the mass of greens he held in his arms.

Leonardo: “You get vegetables if you help out? I think I’ll give that a try!”

Leonardo rushed off to the field.

Dorothy: “Uncle Henry and Aunt Em’ll really appreciate the help.”

Leonardo, however, suddenly stopped in mid-run.

Leonardo: “Oh, I’d forgotten to do this since we’re in a new world and all.”

Leonardo came running back.

(Huh…?)

Leonardo: “Dorothy, I love you!”

Leonardo literally leapt off the ground and threw his arms around me.

Dorothy: “Eep…?!”

Crowlie: “Leonardo, what are you doing?! Get off her!”

Crowlie and Heartmann hurried to pry Leonardo off.

Toto: Nom!”

Leonardo: “It hurts, but… I can take the pain!”

Leonardo wouldn’t let go, not even after Toto bit him.

Heartmann: “Great Oz, Wizard of the West, help us!”

Oz: “If I gotta…”

Wesley: “Tch. But only for today!”

They exchanged looks and sneers before leaping at Leonardo.

And as everyone grappled with each other, someone tugged at my arm and pulled me out of the confusion.

Crowlie: “This way…!”

(Crowlie!)

Crowlie pulled my hand and took me a little farther out.

Dorothy: “Phew…thanks for the rescue.”

At my thanks, Crowlie softly embraced me.

(Huh…?)

[Spoiler Warning!] True Ending CG

Crowlie: “Because protecting you is my duty, Dorothy.

Dorothy: “And you’re a wonderful guardian.”

We brought our lips together.

I took a brief glance up to the sky after to see a large rainbow shooting across the sky, celebrating the new world, and the start of a new story.

The True Ending Completed!

Dorothy: “Congratulations on getting the best ending!”

Crowlie: “A world where everyone can be happy has been born! Oh, how wonderful!”

Leonardo: “This is seriously awesome! Good job! That really moved me!”

Heartmann: “Oohh… I’m so happy, I can’t stop crying!”

Dorothy: “If I knew such a wonderful world was going to appear, I wouldn’t have had to worry so much!”

Crowlie: “I think it might have been best of Lord Solomon had just told us from the start…”

Leonardo: “Hey, come one, don’t talk like that. We’ve got this great world BECAUSE you overcame such a big trial.

Heartmann: “Wait, Leonardo?! What’s got you saying such sage things all of a sudden?”

Dorothy: “Is a miracle happening with Leonardo too?!”

Leonardo: “Guys, come one, sometimes i say smart things, too!”

Dorothy: “Oh, I know… The prophecy might not have come true, and our worlds might not have fused…”

Crowlie: “What a dangerous declaration!”

Heartmann: “But, aren’t you curious?”

Leonardo: “Of course I’m curious!”

Crowlie: “Well, one would probably find out by seeing the other endings…”

Dorothy: “Then let’s go see them!”

Crowlie: “Wait, are you really going?!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, let’s go!”

Heartmann: “Come on, Crowlie. We can’t get anywhere without you.”

Crowlie: “Heh…well, I am rather curious about the other endings.”

Dorothy: “Well, everyone, let’s be off!”

Shall We Date? Oz+ Heartmann

posted in: Games & Tech. | 0

First of all, I don’t own any of this, nor did I create any of it. This is the script from the mobile Shall We Date? game, Oz+. As someone who has tried another mobile otome and didn’t love it (mostly due to the lag while loading text), I recommend this one. The doll maker is adorable and the art is very good. The story is packed full of warm fuzzy feelings, very loosely based on the original Wizard of Oz story, haha.

Second of all, I started writing it down because you don’t get many tickets each day and I would forget the story between segments. That being said, I didn’t think of it until I was already on 6.10. I purchased the premium background for 5.11, so I had that in my memories and copied it from there. If anyone has the missing parts and wants to comment with it or send it to me, I’ll update it. Also, I would like to note that this is no replacement for actually playing the game! After rereading what I’ve written, it’s just completely different with the proper sprites and backgrounds.

If you’re looking for a guide without all the extra text, try this one. :3

And lastly, there are obviously spoilers, so read at your own risk! I won’t post any pictures. I want you to experience those yourself. I hate to spoil CGs, but I came to the realization that because you have to spend real money to get the premium CGs, most people aren’t going to have every CG for every character. On that note, I decided to upload my CGs and I will link them as they appear in the story. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK!

5.11

Heartmann stepped forward and shouted to everyone.

Heartmann: “Everyone, please, calm down! Listen to what I have to say!”

However, Heartmann’s voice was drowned out by the clamor of the crowd.

Leonardo: “This is bad! People are going to get hurt!”

Dorothy: “How did it come to this…?!”

Crowlie: “The people of this land remember being oppressed under the Wizard of the West’s reign. That is why they fear him even now.”

Leonardo: It’s not just the people here either… Everyone in Oz is afraid of this guy.”

Oz: “This is why Heartmann was so opposed to bringing Wesley along.”

Heartmann: “There’s no use crying over spilled milk. Not when it was I who’d decided to bring the wizard here, after all…”

Wesley: “…”

Crowlie: “So, what will we do?”

Leonardo: “We’ve got to calm everyone down, and fast!”

Heartmann: “I know, I know! I’ll calm them down, you’ll see!”

Dorothy: “Do you have a plan?”

Heartmann: “Yeah. One I’ve been saving.”

Heartmann jumped atop a large wooden box and held his hand out to me.

Heartmann: “Will you help me?”

He asked with a gentle smile.

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 5 CG

(Seeing him smile like that… For some reason, it makes me feel really brave…!”

(If there’s anything I can do, I’ve got to help him!)

Dorothy: “Of course!”

I took hold of his hand and he pulled me up on top of the box.

From the higher position, I could see just how crazy people were getting.

(Can he really calm this crowd down…?)

Heartmann: “Could you smile, Dorothy? Nothing calms people down like a smile.”

Dorothy: “Alright, I will.”

Heartmann: “Leonardo, shout as loud as you can and get everyone’s attention!”

Leonardo: “Got it, leave it to me!”

Leonardo took a deep breath, then unleashed a loud shout.

Leonardo: “EVERYONE! LISTEN!”

His impossibly loud roar sent tangible vibrations through the air and echoed throughout town.

Young Man: “Wh-What…?!”

Older Woman: “Look! It’s King Heartmann and Dorothy!”

Leonardo: “King Heartmann and the hero Dorothy have something to say!”

Everyone stopped and looked up at us.

Heartmann: “Everyone, listen! You no longer need to fear the Wizard of the West!”

Everyone looked closely at Heartmann.

Heartmann: “Not only are we three kings here, but so is the legendary hero, Dorothy! So you need not fear the wizard any longer!”

Heartmann: Moreover, I have wonderful news! Please, lend me your ears!”

(What news does he have?)

Heartmann: I have been chosen to be Dorothy’s romantic partner!”

(Huh?!)

Older Man: “What?! King Heartmann is together with Dorothy?!”

Older Woman: “They are?! That’s amazing!”

Everyone started to whisper and chatter among themselves.

(You really didn’t have to tell everyone, Heartmann…)

As I looked on stunned, Heartmann whispered into my ear.

Heartmann: “Let everyone see your smile?”

Dorothy: “O-Okay…”

His gentle whisper had my heart pounding.

Just like he asked, I turned to everyone and smiled.

When I did, Heartmann sweetly put his arm around my shoulder.

(Huh…?)

Young Woman: “The King of the Winkies is together with Dorothy!”

Little boy: “Look, he’s got his arm around Dorothy’s shoulder!”

Everyone’s eyes went wide as they watched us.

Heartmann: “Can I do this for a moment?”

No sooner did the words leave his mouth when he picked me up and held me in both arms.

Dorothy: “W-Wait, Heartmann, what are you…?”

Heartmann: “Just keep smiling.”

(B-But…)

The only time someone picked me up like this was when I was a little kid.

(This is so embarrassing!)

I smiled as my face turned red, and the crowd let out sighs of awe.

(Heartmann’s wearing armor, but he feels so… warm…)

My heartbeat quickened, and I felt hot up to my ears.

(I bet Heartmann knows I’m going beet red too. Oh, what am I going to do….)

Heartmann: “That’s a wonderful smile.”

As I smiled over my anxiety, Heartmann lay a kiss on my cheek.

Dorothy: “!”

Heartmann kept his lips on my cheek, as if to give the crowd a good view.

In the next moment, the city was awash with cheers.

(But…)

I was too focused on the sensation of the lips on my cheek to even register the cheering crowd in my mind.

(His lips are so, so nice…)

When he slowly pulled his lips away, he peered into my face.

I was unable to pry my eyes away from his as he looked at me so gently, his face a little red.

Leonardo: “Hey, what are you doing?!”

Crowlie: “How daring…!”

Oz: “Heh… Planned this out, did you.”

Young Man: “We’ve got the most famous couple of all on our hands now! This is something we can boast to the other countries about!”

The fear vanished from the crowd’s faces, quickly giving way to joy and excitement.

Older Woman: “We’ve got to celebrate!”

I had no idea who had prepared it, but confetti started to rain down.

Little Girl: “King Heartmann! Dorothy! Congratulations”

Words of celebration erupted from the crowd, and the sound of clanging metal echoed throughout the town.

Heartmann: “In Winkies, we bang metal together to express joy.”

Dorothy: “Isn’t everyone kind of getting ahead of themselves?”

Heartmann: “Well, can’t we let them? I don’t feel off put by this at all.”

As I saw the joy on everyone’s faces, I had to agree with Heartmann.

Wesley: “Tch…”

Oz: “Wesley, come on, smile a little.”

Wesley: Like I’d smile! And stop ordering me around!”

Oz: “Hey, I think it’s a good opportunity to improve your image a bit.”

Wesley: “Who cares…”

Crowlie: “Well, it looks like we’ve managed somehow…”

Leonardo: “Phew… I was pretty worried there for a minute.”

Oz: “You think on your feet surprisingly well, Heartmann.”

The townspeople went right on cheering, covering the city in a much more pleasant atmosphere.

Heartmann let me down from the box and smiled down at me.

Chapter 6 (17/17)

6.10

Oz: “Yeah, we should.”

Oz nodded seriously.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, what do you want to do?”

Dorothy: “Let’s go back to Quadlings” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “I think we should too.”

Leonardo: “Even though we came all the way out to Winkies?”

Heartmann: “I can’t allow Dorothy to be in danger.”

Crowlie: “True…”

Oz: “A wise decision.”

Dorothy: “And that’s not all. We should go back for Wesley’s sake too.”

Wesley: “…”

Leonardo: “Man, this wizard really is a pain…”

Dorothy: “Hey, don’t say that. If people are after him, we need to do something.”

Wesley: “What…?”

Heartmann: “Let’s just go back to Quadlings, for starters.”

Elderly Man: “Oh? Leaving already?”

Older Woman: “When we had so many celebrities come at once too…?”

Whispered the townspeople who had overheard us, disappointed.

Heartman: “Everyone! I’ll be leaving the country temporariliy, but I assure you I’ll return with Dorothy!”

6.11

Heartman declared to the people.

Leonardo: “Can’t say I’m not reluctant, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do…”

Crowlie: “Let’s all visit again together.”

Dorothy: “Good idea!”

Oz: “Well, people of the west, until we meet again!”

With that, we ended up going back to Quadlings.

However, when we went to get back on the carriage, three women I’d never seen before appeared.

???: “King Heartmann, please wait!”

Heartmann: “Hm? Who are you?”

Fan1: “We’re your biggest fans, who love you from the bottom of our hearts! I’m Twentysomething Number one!”

Heartmann: “Biggest fans? Number one?”

Fan2: “And I’m Boyish Number Two!”

Crowlie: “Number Two…?”

Fan3: “And I’m Number Three, The Youngest!”

Leonardo: “Number Three, The Youngest…?”

Oz: “Heartmann, I didn’t know you kept groupies.”

Heartmann: “G-Groupies? Listen, I have no idea who these girls are…!”

Dorothy: “So you have a… fan club?”

Wesley: “An unoffiicial one, looks like it…”

6.12

Fan1: “Apologize, Wizard of the West!”

Wesley: “Number One? You were Miss Twentysomething? Shouldn’t you be off having a quarter-life crisis about now?”

Fan1: “H-Hey…!”

Oz: “And Boyish Number Two? Shouldn’t you be working on your makeup technique?”

Fan2: “Wh-What?!”

Wesley: “And Number Three, The Youngest. A kid. Kid, go home.”

Fan3: “I-I’m not a kid, you big dummy!”

Dorothy: “Hey, you two! That’s no way to talk to ladies!”

I scolded Oz and Wesley, but they showed no signs of guilt.

Heartmann: “So, er, do you have business with me?”

Fan1: “Please, King Heartmann, don’t go to Quadlings!”

Heartmann: “Why not?”

Fan2: “It’s so, so painful not being able to see your face!”

Heartmann: “Wait, what…?”

Fan3: “Please don’t go, King Heartmann!”

Heartmann: “I’m afraid I… Huh.”

Leonardo: “I get that you guys really like Heartmann and all, but you really shouldn’t get in his way like this.”

Fan2: “Oh, you can leave. We don’t mind.”

Leonardo: “Whoa whoa whoa, what’s with the cold tone?!”

Fan3: “We only have eyes for King Heartmann! No one asked you to come, King of the Forest!”

Leonardo: “These guys are… really, really annoying.”

6.13

Crowlie: Breathe, Leonardo, breathe.”

Dorothy: “Um, we really, really need to go back to Quadlings.”

The three fans glared at me.

Fan1: “Hey. You. Could you, like, not steal our King Heartmann away?”

(Wait, what?!)

Fan2: “We don’t acept you being King Heartmann’s partner, not one bit!”

Heartmann: “Er, you three…”

Fan3: “You mustn’t be deceived, King Heartmann! Dorothy’s just after your money!”

(After his money…? Come on, you guys…)

Oz: “Really, little miss?”

Dorothy: “Of course not! You know that, Oz!”

Heartmann: “Say, girls…”

Heartmann started to gently talk to the three.

Heartmann: “I’m really grateful that you’re thinking of me. Truly, I am.”

Heartmann: “But I made the decision as King of Winkies to return to Quadlings for the sake of everyone’s safety.”

Fan1: “But there’s no need for you to go with them, King Heartmann!”

Fan2: “That’s right! Just let the others go back by themselves!”

Heartmann: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I have to protect Dorothy.”

6.14

Fan3: “Just Dorothy?! That’s not fair!”

Dorothy: “If you really love Heartmann that much, you should think of things from his point of view…”

Fan1: “What?! Hey, just because you’re his girlfriend doesn’t mean you can get carried away!”

Dorothy: “I don’t need to be his girlfriend to ask you to put yourself in his shoes.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy is right.”

Fan2: “Then put yourself in our shoes and break up with King Heartmann!”

Crowlie: “Really, you’re trying that…?”

Welsey: “Heh heh heh… Alright, let’s wrap up this farce, yeah?”

Fan1: “Farce? How rude! We’re serious!”

Wesley: “Who do you think you’re back talking to? You’ve forgotten who I am?”

Fan1: “Guh…”

Wesley shot a glare at them so intimdating, even they had to step back.

Heartmann: “What do you mean by farce?”

Wesley: “These are our culprits.”

Dorothy: “Culprits?”

Fan1: “Wh-What do you mean…?”

Leonardo: “You mean the people who were after you, Wizard?”

Heartmann: “Wait, they were after you?!”

Wesley: “…I wasn’t the one they were after.”

Heartmann: “Wait, what?”

6.15

Oz: “They were really after Dorothy, weren’t they?”

Dorothy: “They were after ME?!”

Crowlie: “So when you said that people were after Wesley…”

Oz: “I was lying. Can’t you be just a little skeptical?”

Dorothy: “Wait, why’d you lie?”

Oz: “Wesley and I noticed that someone was trying to get you.”

Oz: “But if we said that, it’d just scare you, don’t you think?”

Heartmann: “So you told a white lie then…?”

Dorothy: “Wesley…”

Leonardo: “Really…? Man. Sorry for saying those horrible things, Wesley.”

Wesley: “Heh. It’s not like it isn’t true that people hate me.”

Leonardo: “You’re a surprisingly good guy, man.”

Wesley: “Hey, don’t call me a good guy!”

6.16

Fan1: “Hmph! And just what are you going on about? Do you have any evidence that we did it?”

Fan3: “Yeah! Give us PROOF!”

Wesley: “I saw the whole thing with my divination magic. The WHOLE thing.”

Fan1: “W-Wait, what…?!”

Fan3: “Divination?! That isn’t fair! Oh, what’re we going to do?!”

Leonardo: “There we go! You just admitted it!”

Fan3: “Oh! Oops!”

Heartmann: “… Was it really you three?”

Fan1: “U-Um, well…”

When Heartmann asked them, they stood in silence.

Then Heartmann deeply bowed his head at us.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, I am truly sorry for putting you in harm’s way.”

(Heartmann…)

Heartmann: “Ruler of the Emerald City, Crowlie. King of the Forest, Leonardo. Great King Oz, and Wesley…”

Heartmann: “As King of the West, I deeply apologize that my people nearly brought harm to you all.”

Everyone nodded at Heartmann after his solemn apology.

Crowlie: “Apology accepted.”

Leonardo: “From me too.”

Oz: “I appreciate the formal apology.”

Wesley: “Sure, whatever…”

Heartmann: “Thank you, everyone.”

Dorothy: “Look at this, you three. Look at where you’ve put your king.”

Fan1: “…!”

6.17

They stared in shock.

Fan2: “We made King Heartmann have to apologize…”

Fan3: “We’re sorry!”

(Looks like they figured out what they did wrong after seeing Heartmann apologize.)

Heartmann turned his eyes to his fans.

Heartmann: “I don’t mind your enthusiasm, but I just need to say this.”

Heartmann: “It’s not good to try and solve everything with force.”

Heartmann: “As people of this country, you know just how foolish it is to try and rule people with power alone, don’t you?”

The three girls took nervous glances at Wesley.

Wesley: “Heh…”

Heartmann: “And no matter what anyone says, I love Dorothy and have no intention of leaving her side.”

The girls hung their heads in shame at the strength of Heartmann’s tone.

(Heartmann… you’ve become such a wonderful king!)

(He really is a good king of the west).

(And he’s with me!)

His strong words, his gallant frame, it all shone to me.

(I’m so glad I picked him…)

I thought that from the bottom of my heart.

Heartmann’s Date Plan

Solomon: “Say, Heartmann. Would you mind telling me what you plan on doing when you take Dorothy out on a date?”

Heartmann: “W-Wait, what are you asking all of a sudden?”

Norton: “He is asking what type of date you intend to take Dorothy out on.”

Heartmann: “Hey, wait a minute… there’s got to be some reason you two are asking me that question…!”

Solomon: “You won’t tell us that you don’t have plan, will you?”

Heartmann: “Of course not! I’m going to invite her to see the musical everyone’s talking about, then take her to a popular restaurant.”

Heartmann: “Then we’re going to have a romantic time gazing at the night scenery in the park!”

Solomon: “Impressive, King of the Winkies. That sounds like a perfect date any woman would enjoy.”

Norton: “Now that was a model answer.”

Heartmann: “Ahaha…glad to hear that from two men of your stature!”

Heartmann: “But, er… why did you ask me?”

Solomon: “Do you know of the Quadlings Walker?”

Norton: “It’s a famous general interest magazine in Quadlings. Currently, they seem to be researching the date plans of each country’s king.”

Heartmann: “Wait, really?!”

Solomon: “So I asked to make sure we didn’t have the same idea.”

Norton: “Your answer was truly enlightening.”

Heartmann: “All of the kings’ date plants, huh…?”

Heartmann: “Quadlings Walker… I’ve got to give it a look…!”

Chapter 7: Restrained Emotions (14/14)

7.1

After that, we left the land of the west and headed back to Quadlings.

Heartmann: “Sorry for ruining what was setting up to be a wonderful day.”

Heartmann apologized again when we got out of the carriage in front of the palace.

Dorothy: “That’s all right, Heartmann. I got to see how different Winkies is from before with my own eyes.”

Crowlie: “And in hindsight, it was a good idea to bring the Wizard of the West with us.”

Leonardo: “True, true. If we didn’t have him with us, we wouldn’t have known who was after Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Wesley.”

Wesley: “You guys are just too nice. If you don’t toughen up, you’re going to regret it.”

Dorothy: “And thanks to you too, Oz.”

Oz: “What for?”

Dorothy: “You were just as concerned about me as Wesley was, weren’t you?”

Oz: “Me? Concerned?”

Dorothy: “Oh, there you go, playing the fool…”

Oz: “Acting out of concern for a lady is a natural thing. And besides, I’m still in the running to be your partner.”

Leonardo: “And on top of that, you sure were perceptive to figure people were after Dorothy.”

Wesley: “One look at that falling brick was all it took to know something was up.”

Heartmann: “It WAS brand new…”

Oz: “It fell down where Dorothy was standing, meaning it was probably meant for her head.”

Wesley: “That’s why I used my divination to find the crook. Figured you guys would protect Dorothy for me.”

Dorothy: “You mean when the ladder fell down?”

That’s when Wesley adjusted his eye patch. He had to have been using his divination.

Welsey: “Heh. Good eye on you.”

7.2

Leonardo: “But you know, the first person to let us know something was up was Toto here.”

Heartmann: “Hey, you’re right!”

Crowlie: “If Toto hadn’t barked, we wouldn’t have been able to protect Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Thanks, Toto!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Crowlie: “So Heartmann, what are you going to do about those three?”

The girls had been taken in by a guard who’d come running.

Heartmann: “Well, since they put an important guest and two kings in danger…”

Dorothy: “Are you going to give them a harsh punishment?”

Heartmann: “I’ll decide what to do by the time I get back to Winkies, but what would you do, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “How about we have them clean the town square?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Ah, good idea.”

Leonardo: “Is that actually a punishment?”

Dorothy: “Well, I understand how they feel. They just… did the wrong thing.”

Heartmann: “True. Anyone would want to have the person they love all to themselves.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy… They were trying to hurt you, remember? Are you really all right with that?”

Dorothy: “Well, everyone protected me, so I’m not hurt in the least.”

Wesley: “I think you should be harsher.”

Heartmann: “Well, how about this? We’ll have them clean the town square for half a year.”

Oz: “Half a year?! That’s pretty rough.”

Wesley: “You call that rough?!”

Heartmann: “They seemed pretty sorry. I’d say this is appropriate.”

With that, Heartmann smiled gently.

Dorothy: “Haha… I think that’s a good decision, Heartmann.”

Right then, Solomon and Norton came out themselves to greet us.

7.3

Solomon: “Welcome back, everyone. Did you enjoy Winkies?”

Dorothy: “We had some… Interest experiences, but I’m glad I went.”

Solomon: “Glad to hear it.”

Solomon turned his eyes to Wesley.

Solomon: “So, Wesley, how did it feel to see the current country of the Winkies with your own eyes?”

Wesley: “…”

Heartmann: “You can tell me your honest opinion.”

Wesley: “I think it’s changed. Changed a lot, but…”

Wesley’s face turned serious.

Wesley: “It could probably turn out even better. Depending on how hard its king works.”

(What…?)

Heartmann: “…!”

Leonardo: “Now that’s a surprise! The Wizard of the West actually said a compliment!”

Crowlie: “I can’t believe it…!”

Oz: “Heh…”

Wesley: “Don’t get the wrong impression! I’m not praising anything!”

Norton: “It sounded like praise to me.”

Wesley: “It wasn’t praise! It was an evaluation!”

Heartmann: “And I will take that evaluation to heart. Thank you, Wizard of the West.”

Wesley: “Hmph. Just put some real effort into the country.”

7.4

Solomon: “Looks like sending Wesley with you was the right choice after all.”

Wesley: “Tch…!”

Dorothy: “Oh, that’s right! Solomon, we’ve got a present for you.”

Solomon: “Oh? You’ve brought something back?”

I pulled out a small box and handed it to Solomon.

Solomon opened the box. A spark of surprise lit through his eyes for a moment, then he smiled at us.

Solomon: “It’s quite a beautiful stone.”

Norton: “My, what a lovely gem. I’ve never seen one like it before.”

Heartmann: “It’s a gem we’ve discovered in Winkies recently. We call it Winkite.”

Solomon: “Winkite…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy graced it with its name.”

Solomon: “It’s a nice name, and a wonderful present. Thank you very much.”

Norton: “Please, rest for today.”

That night, someone knocked at my door.

Toto: “Woof!”

(That sound… it’s Heartmann!)

The sound of metal on my door told me immediately it was Heartmann.

I opened the door to see him standing there, somber.

Heartmann: “Sorry for popping up so late at night.”

Dorothy: “What’s the matter, Heartmann?”

7.5

Heartmann: “I just wanted to apologize again about what happened back in Winkies.”

Dorothy: “So that brought you all the way here?”

Heartmann: “I put you through something scary… I’m really sorry.”

Dorothy: “Well, you apologized back at Twinkies. That was enough. Really!”

Heartmann: “I apologized as king, but I didn’t apologize as your boyfriend.”

I saw how serious he was. I could feel it.

Dorothy: “Got it. And I’m fine, really. You protected me, so I have you to thank.”

When I said that with a smile, Heartmann smiled back.

Heartmann: “Thank you, Dorothy.”

He gently put his arms around me.

(Huh…?)

I froze up in a mix of nervousness and surprise. Heartmann’s next words, however, instantly washed my nervousness away.

Heartmann: “I’m so glad you’re all right…”

He whispered with a voice of pure relief, his arms still around me.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…?”

Heartmann: “When I think about what would have happened if you got hurt, I just… I get so scared…”

Something warm fell onto my cheek.

(Is that a… tear…?)

Since he held me, I wasn’t able to see his face.

Dorothy: “Heartmann, are you crying?”

Heartmann: “I’m sorry… I just saw you smile and felt so relieved that I…”

(He was that worried about me…)

7.6

Heartmann: “Not very becoming, huh? A man, crying like this…”

Dorothy: “Oh, I don’t think that at all…”

Heartmann: “Back when I was made of tin, I couldn’t cry. Not even if I wanted to.”

Heartmann: “It would’ve just rusted my body, y’see.”

(Oh… so back in those days, Heartmann was holding back his tears…)

Dorothy: “Now that you’re a human, you can cry all you want, huh?”

Heartmann: “Tears… they don’t just come out when you’re sad. They force their way out even when you’re happy.”

Heartmann: “So when I saw you smile, after I’d been so worried, I just got so happy…”

He cried because he had a heart. Someone without a heart wouldn’t cry.

(And Heartmann’s got a gentler heart than anyone.)

(These tears are proof of that…)

Dorothy: I”m glad, Heartmann. I’m glad you’re able to cry as much as you want.”

Heartmann pulled himself away a little and looked at me.

Heartmann: I used to carry an oil can around to make sure I didn’t rust, but now I bring a handkerchief with me everywhere.”

Heartmann smiled tenderly as tears wet his cheeks.

Dorothy: “Then I’ll give you a handkerchief as a present next time.”

Heartmann: “Haha… looking forward to that.”

Dorothy: “But, hey, Heartmann… shouldn’t you have stayed back in Winkies?”

Heartmann: “Why?”

7.7

Dorothy: “Well, the people there all really love you. Shouldn’t you have stayed? For their sake?”

Heartmann: “Well, do you remember what I said back then?”

(Huh?)

Heartmann: “That I have no intention of leaving the side of the woman I love.”

Heartmann softly put his hand to my cheek.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

I saw my face in his wet pupils.

(I feel like I’ll just get drawn into his eyes…)

Heartmann: “Dorothy, I love you.”

Dorothy: “!”

(I’ve never been told that so… directly.)

I felt like even my brain had gone beet red.

(Wh-What should I say…?)

My mind had completely shut down, and I couldn’t think of anything.

Heartmann: “..”

Heartmann’s face slowly came to mine.

(W-Wait, is he going to…)

Right when I thought our lips were going to meet…

Heartmann: “Ah…?!”

Heartmann gasped and froze.

7.8

Charisma Contest! Required Charisma: 8800

My pulse was as fast as ever.

(Wh-What’s going on…?)

The moment stretched on, as if time had stopped.

Heartmann: “…I’m sorry.”

With those words, time started again.

Heartmann: “That was a little too hasty.”

With that, he loosened his arms around me.

Dorothy: “H-Heartmann, hey…”

Back to my senses, my face flushed even hotter.

Heartmann: “I love you, so I want to do this right.”

Heartmann said with a smile. His usual smile.

Dorothy: “Y-Yeah…”

And I turned my face down, what with it being positively crimson.

(Just what is this I’m feeling…? I feel kind of… disappointed. A little cheated.)

My feelings still complicated, I turned only my eyes to him and looked up at his face.

Heartmann: “Hm…?”

Dorothy: “N-Nothing…!”

(I can’t look him straight in the face… Why…?)

Then, he patted my head and gently caressed it.

Heartmann: “I feel a lot better from seeing you smile, so I’ll be heading back to my room.”

Dorothy: “All right…”

(Why do I feel like I… want him to stay…”) BECAUSE YOU DO!

7.9

Heartmann: “Well, see you tomorrow.”

Heartmann started to leave the room.

Dorothy: “Oh, Heartmann!”

(W-Wait, why did I stop him?!)

Heartmann stopped and turned around.

Heartmann: “Yes?”

(Uh-oh! I’ve gotta say something…!)

Dorothy: “Um… Goodnight.” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Oh, I forgot to say that!”

Dorothy: “I-I know, right?”

Heartmann: “Haha. I was about to realize that halfway back to my room and come back, really.”

Heartmann smiled tenderly and touched my hair.

Heartmann: “Goodnight, Dorothy. Sweet dreams.”

Dorothy: “Goodnight, Heartmann.”

Heartmann nodded with a smile and headed out of the room.

Dorothy: “I think…I wouldn’t have minded if he’d just kissed me.”

7.10

Toto: “Woof?!”

Dorothy: “O-Oh! No, no, it’s not what you think, I… Oh, I don’t even know myself…”

(Just what is this, this strange, yearning feeling…?!)

Toto: “…?”

Toto looked at me with suspicious eyes.

Dorothy: “Hey, what’s with that look? Don’t stare at me like that.”

Toto:” Huff! Huff!”

He put on a mocking expression. I literally can’t even imagine this dog with a mocking expression.

(Well, it’s not like I’ve totally fallen for Heartmann, or anything…)

(…But if I haven’t, why do I feel this way?)

Dorothy: “Hey, does this mean I’ve actually, really… seriously fallen in love?!”

Toto: “Woof!”

His gentle smile, his faithful face, his cheek wet with tears… his many faces popped up into my mind one after the other.

(I’m… in love with Heartmann…)

[Note: This is from Heartmann’s point of view]

After leaving Dorothy’s room, I figured I wouldn’t be able to sleep right away, so I took a little walk.

(I really hope I get to stay with Dorothy like this…)

As I walked along, smiling to myself, I ran into Lord Norton in the great hall.

Norton: “Oh? Heartmann? Alone tonight?”

Heartmann: “Ah, Lord Norton… Are you on patrol?”

Norton: “More or less. So how fared the trip to Winkies?”

7.11

Heartmann: “It went over well with Dorothy, but…”

Norton: “Did something happen?”

Heartmann: “Truth be told… A group of my people tried to bring harm to her.”

Norton: “What?! They tried to hurt Dorothy?!”

Heartmann: “She’s unharmed. We managed to protect her.”

Norton: “Good news… And what became, might I ask, of the culprits?”

Heartmann: “The Wizard of the West found them with his divination, and we placed them under immediate arrest.”

Norton: “Wesley helped you…?”

Heartmann: “We were quite surprised ourselves.”

Norton: “I see… So, how was it, bringing him along?”

Heartmann: “Well, as expected, the Winkies are still afraid of him.”

Norton: “That’s quite understandable, I’m afraid. He was quite monstrous in the past.”

Heartmann: “But now, it’s as though he’s changed. Perhaps he…”

Norton: “Perhaps he…?”

Heartmann: “Perhaps he was a good man to begin with.”

Norton: “Wesley? Our Wesley?”

Heartmann: “Perhaps there was a reason he became such a cruel Wizard?”

Norton: “That, I’m afraid, is beyond my knowledge.”

Heartmann: “When he saw what Winkies is now, he looked like something was on his mind.”

Norton: “Did he say something?”

7.12

Heartmann: “Well, no, not with his personality, but… I got that impression.”

Norton: “I see…”

Norton fell silent and closed his eyes, as if in thought.”

Heartmann: “Is something amiss, Lord Norton?”

Norton: “Well, Lord Solomon said that if the king changes, so does the kingdom, did he not?”

Heartmann: “He did.”

Norton: “In the same way, perhaps people change based on who they are around.”

Heartmann: “What…?”

Norton: “In other words, people make people.”

Heartmann: “People make people…”

Norton: “By being around you and Dorothy, perhaps Wesley can change.”

Heartmann: “That would certainly be nice…”

Norton: “I believe we should give Wesley some more time. Observe him further, if you would.”

Heartmann: “Say, Lord Norton. To be honest, there’s something on my mind…”

Norton: “What might that be?”

Heartmann: “It’s… It’s about Dorothy.”

Norton: “If I’m able to advise you, then I will gladly do so.”

[Back to Dorothy]

I couldn’t sleep, not when I kept thinking of Heartmann. To help me drift off, I started heading towards the dining hall to drink some warm milk.

Leonardo: “Dorothy? What’re you doing out at this hour?’

Crowlie: “Has something happened?”

I ran into some unexpected faces in said dining hall.

Dorothy: “I could ask the same of you two. What’re you doing here?”

Leonardo: “I was a little hungry, so I’m having a bit of a late night snack.”

Crowlie: “And he dragged me along with him.”

7.13

Dorothy: “I can’t really sleep, so I figured I’d have some warm milk or something.”

Leonardo: “Well I’ve got some right here. Go ahead and take it — I’ll go get another.”

Leonardo offered me his cup of milk, then went to get a new one for himself.

Dorothy: “Thanks. So do you always help yourselves?”

No one else was in the dining hall.

Leonardo: “Yeah, I always do this. Got permission from the cooks and everything.”

Crowlie: “So, what’s the matter? You’ve got a really pained look on your face.”

Leonardo: “If you’ve got some troubles, we’ll hear you out anytime. So c’mon, lay it on us.”

(What should I say…?)

Dorothy: “Um, can you tell me about love?” (Intimacy +7)

Leonardo: “Pffff!”

Leonardo nearly spat out his milk.

Leonardo: “Wh-Why bring that up all of a sudden…?!”

Crowlie: “What makes you ask that?”

Dorothy: “Well, I’ve never been in love, so I can’t tell if I’m in love or not…”

Leonardo: “Ah, that’s what this is about? Well, when you’re in love, your heart starts beatin’ really fast!”

Crowlie: “When you think about the person you’re in love with, you start to yearn for them and can’t sleep.”

(I knew it!)

Leonardo: “And you want to kiss them!”

Dorothy: “Wait, seriously?!”

(So that’s why I felt so disappointed when Heartmann pulled away before kissing me…)

Crowlie: “Is it Heartmann you’ve fallen for?”

Dorothy: “H-How did you…?!”

Crowlie: “It’s written all over your face.”

Leonardo: “Wait, you’ve seriously fallen for him?!”

7.14

Dorothy: “So, what should I do?

Crowlie: “Well, that… is for the two of you to decide.”

Crowlie: “But if you both feel the same way for each other, those feelings should come naturally.”

Dorothy: “I hope so…”

Leonardo: “Don’t sweat it, really. You guys are crazy in love.”

Leonardo: “And we’re here saying it, so you know it’s true!”

Dorothy: “Thanks, you two. I think I feel a bit better now. I’ll probably be able to sleep now.”

Crowlie: “Then please, treat yourself to some sleep. Good night, Dorothy.”

Leonardo: “See ya! Goodnight!”

Dorothy: “All right, goodnight you two!”

[Note: This is from Heartmann’s point of view]

Heartmann: “Is that… true…?!”

Norton: “… That it is. Lord Solomon will tell you the same thing.”

Now that I knew the truth, I felt like my vision had gone completely black.

Heartmann: “If that’s true, then… then what am I supposed to do…?”

Dorothy’s smile cut through my mind.

(I don’t want to hurt Dorothy… I don’t want to do anything to make her sad, I can’t…!)

Crowlie and Leonardo’s faces floated through my mind next.

(I don’t want to make my best friends sad either…!)

Norton: “Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do.”

I wondered, briefly, if it was just my imagination that Lord Norton wore a cold smile…

(I love Dorothy…)

(But to think that love would bring her pain…!)

Despair mercilessly engulfed me.

Behind the Scenes

Wesley: “Hey, three stooges! Get out of the way!”

Leonardo: “What, you wanna fight?!”

Wesley: “You think you can beat me? When I can use magic?”

Heartmann: “You don’t scare us.”

Crowlie: “Because we know your weakness.”

Leonardo: “Look at this! IT’s a bucket full of water!”

Wesley: “Guh…! Where’d you pull that from?!”

Heartmann: “Hold on, I’m not good with water either. Makes me feel like my body’ll rust up…”

Leonardo: “Wait, what are you even talking about?!”

Crowlie: “You don’t need to worry about that since you’ve got a human body, remember?”

Heartmann: “That’s true, but…”

Wesley: “If you’ve got water, then I’ve got fire!”

Crowlie: “I can’t take fire! My straw will burn!”

Leonardo: “Whoa, that’s hot! No fire, no fire! Animals aren’t good with fire!”

Heartmann: “Ah! Don’t tip over the bucket!”

Wesley: “Whoa, that was close…! It almost got on my feet!”

Norton: “Just what do you think you are doing in the castle, you four?!”

Heartmann: Oh, Lord Norton…!”

Wesley: “Tch, this ain’t good…!”

Norton: “As punishment, you must all stand in the hallway!”

Chapter 8: Feeling of Strangeness (14/14)

8.1

A few days passed since then.

Heartmann: “These cookies are delicious! They really go well with the tea.”

Heartmann smiled in delight as he munched on his cookies.

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Dorothy: “Do you want some too, Toto?”

I gave Toto one and he wagged his tail as he wolfed it down.

Heartmann: “Toto can tell when something’s tasty too, huh.”

Dorothy: “Haha… though, his appetite can be a handful sometimes.”

Heartmann: “So, enjoying the Land of Oz?”

Dorothy: “Of course! The days I’ve spent here have been like something out of a dream.”

Every day I saw something fascinating and experienced something new. I was greatly enjoying my time with everyone.

Heartmann: “Glad to hear it.”

With that, and his smile still wide, he looked down at the teacup in his hand.

(There they are again, those sad eyes… I’m not just imagining it, am I…?)

If there was one thing I was worried about in all this fun, it was Heartmann. Something about his demeanor.

He acted as he always did, but sometimes something felt off about him.

Toto: “Woof!”

Heartmann: “What is it, Toto? Want my cookie too?”

Toto: “Woof!”

Heartmann: “Hahaha! Well, if you want it that badly…”

(Just what is it, this weirdness…?)

8.2

But I couldn’t figure out what was different about him from before.

(When did this start…?)

I couldn’t remember that clearly either.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, what’s wrong?”

Dorothy: “O-Oh, nothing… Just something on my mind.”

That’s when Crowlie and Leonardo showed up.

Leonardo: “Hey there, you two! Looks like you’re eating something tasty.”

Dorothy: “Want to join us?”

Leonardo: “You know it!”

Crowlie: “Are we interrupting anything, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “No, not at all. The more the merrier, after all.”

Leonardo: “Whoa, these cookies are really good!”

Heartmann: “Lord Norton’s favorites, he said.”

Leonardo: “Oh? So, he’s a gourman, huh?”

Dorothy: “Gour…man?”

Leonardo: “Gourmand. Gour…MAN. Get it? I just came up with it.”

Heartmann: “Hah! That doesn’t sound like it’ll catch on at all, don’t you think, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “Haha… you’re probably right.”

Crowlie quietly whispered into my ear.

Crowlie: “Any developments?”

8.3

Dorothy: “H-Huh?”

Crowlie was asking about Heartmann and I.

Dorothy: “Well, we’re doing well, but nothing… big, you know?” I answered quietly.

Crowlie: “Just don’t rush anything.” Crowlie said with a wink.

Leonardo: “Hey, you two! What’re you whispering about?”

Dorothy: “N-Nothing…!”

Crowlie” Just talking the potential of the word gourman.”

Leonardo: “It’s definitely going to be popular!”

Heartmann: “Hahaha! Come on, there’s just no way!”

Heartmann chuckled. He seemed to be enjoying all this. His smile hadn’t changed.

(Am I just worrying too much?)

Crowlie: “Say, Dorothy, what’s that cut on your finger?”

Crowlie noticed a small cut on my finger.

Dorothy: “Oh, this? I was helping Solomon in the greenhouse yesterday.”

Dorothy: “Then I caught my hand on a rose’s thorn, and…”

Leonardo: “Are you alright?!”

Leonardo held my hand and looked at the wound.

8.4

Dorothy: “Well, Heartmann tended to it right away, so it’s fine now. You don’t need to worry.”

Heartmann: “The mark’ll disappear really soon.”

Crowlie: “Leonardo, just how long do you intend to hold Dorothy’s hand?”

Leonardo: “Man, Dorothy’s hand is so small and soft and nice…”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, is this hand all right?”

Crowlie held my other hand.

Dorothy: “Er, you two… I’m fine, really.”

Heartmann: “Oh, you two…”

Heartmann strained out a smile and I felt something off again.

(Just what is this…? Something’s definitely wrong here…)

Leonardo: “Well, those cookies really hit the spot. I think I’ll have a nap…”

Heartmann: “Another nap?”

Crowlie: “We don’t want to get in your way anymore, so we’ll be off here.”

Dorothy: “So what’ll we do?”

I asked Heartmann, and he tilted his head, curious.

Heartmann: “Hmm… How about we take a walk around the great hall?”

Heartmann: “This hall always takes my breath away.”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

8.5

Heartmann took me to the great hall, but I still couldn’t get over how strange he seemed.

(What should I do…?)

Ask Crowlie and Leonardo about it (Intimacy +7)

(I can’t come out and ask Heartmann directly…)

(…so I’ve got to talk to Crowlie and Leonardo, then!)

Heartmann: “What’s up? You look stressed.”

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann, can you wait here for a little?”

Heartmann: “What’s the matter?”

Dorothy: “I just remembered something I have to do!”

Heartmann: “Really? Well, if you’re bringing it up now, it must be pretty pressing.”

Dorothy: “Yeah, it really is.”

Heartmann: “Well, go right ahead. I’ll be waiting back here.”

(He’s trusting me, even bringing something up so suddenly… Oh, he’s so nice…!)

I started to feel guilty.

(But I’ve got to talk with Crowlie and Leonardo, I’ve got to know…!)

Dorothy: “Thanks! I’ll be right back!”

I ran off, with Toto dashing behind me.

Toto: “Woof!”

8.6

I caught up to Crowlie and Leonardo in the hallway and called to them.

Dorothy: “Crowlie, Leonardo, do you have a moment?’

The two stopped, looking surprised.

Crowlie: “What do you need?’

Leonardo: “Where’s Heartmann?”

Dorothy: “He’s waiting in the great hall. But more importantly, I’ve got to talk about something with both of you.”

Crowlie: “You do…?”

Leonardo: “Well sure, ask us anything.”

Dorothy: “It’s about Heartmann… There’s something I can’t get off my mind.”

Crowlie: “Oh?”

Dorothy: “Well, something feels really weird about him… I feel a weird sort of distance with him…”

Leonardo: “What do you mean?”

Dorothy: “I’m not entirely sure…”

Leonardo: “I don’t think he’s any different, but… what do you think Crowlie?”

Crowlie: “I don’t think he seems odd either.”

Leonardo: “You sure you’re not imagining this, Dorothy? I mean, he didn’t seem weird at all in the dining hall a while ago.”

Crowlie: “He was just smiling along as usual.”

(W-Wait… maybe that’s it!)

Dorothy: “Back when you two were holding my hands, he was just smiling and watching.”

Leonardo: “Was that strange?”

8.7

Dorothy: “But Heartmann was the only one who didn’t try to hold my hand, right?”

Leonardo: “Really?”

Crowlie: “Are you sure you’re not over thinking this?”

Dorothy: “I feel like, compared to before, he doesn’t touch me as much anymore.”

Crowlie: “Oh, Leonardo just touches you too much.”

Leonardo: “Hey, don’t say it like I’m doing something wrong.”

Dorothy: “And even back in the dining hall, I felt like he was talking to Toto more than to me…”

Toto: “Arf…?”

Leonardo: “Well, he’s really nice to everyone, you know?”

Dorothy: “Well, yeah, but…”

(If these two didn’t feel anything strange, then maybe I’m just imagining things…)

Crowlie and Leonardo had known Heartmann for far longer than I had.

And if they said they didn’t sense anything odd about him, well, they were probably right.

(Wait, have I… have I done something to irk him, maybe?)

Crowlie: “Well, if you really can’t get your mind off it, we could ask him about it.”

Crowlie: “Though I think you should ask him yourself, Dorothy.”

Leonardo: “I think so, too. And if there’s a problem there, you just come right back to us.”

Dorothy: “You’re right… All right, I’ll go ask Heartmann!”

Crowlie: “Please do.”

Leonardo: “He’s waiting in the great hall, right? Hurry. Go to him.”

Dorothy: “Got it! Thanks for listening to me, you two!”

With Toto by my side, I headed back to Heartmann.

8.8

When I got back to the great hall, I saw Heartmann staring up at the picture on the ceiling.

Dorothy: “Sorry for the wait, Heartmann.”

When I spoke up, Heartmann snapped out of his enchantment and looked my way.

Heartmann: “Have you taken care of business?”

He showed me his usual smile.

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

Heartmann: “Glad to hear it.”

Dorothy: “…You’re not going to ask what I had to do?”

Heartmann: “Huh…?”

Heartmann looked a little surprised.

Dorothy: “Heartmann, if there’s something on your mind about me, I just want you to tell me. You don’t need to hide it.”

Heartmann: “Hm? What are you talking about?”

Dorothy: “Well, lately, I feel like you’ve changed…”

Heartmann: “Me? Changed?”

Dorothy: “It feels like you’ve become distance. Like you’re not interacting with me as much.”

Heartmann: “Really? You feel that, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “Yeah, I kind of feel that.”

Heartmann: “Wait, wait, hold on. I haven’t changed at all. You sure you’re not just imagining this?”

Heartmann strained out a smile.

8.9

Dorothy: “Have I done something to really bother you, Heartmann?”

I asked him with my eyes squarely on his.

Dorothy: “If I’ve done something wrong, I’ll make up for it, really. So please, tell me what’s wrong.”

Heartmann: “Nothing’s wrong. You haven’t done anything wrong, Dorothy.”

Heartmann looked at me with a gentle smile and took my hand.

Heartmann: “I was a little curious about what your sudden business was, but.. that’s what you were worried about?”

Dorothy: “…”

Heartmann: “Because you’re just imagining it. Don’t worry.”

His regular smile. His usual, nice words.

(And he’s holding my hand now, so…maybe I really am just imagining it all…?)

Heartmann: “And since you’re saying that, well…it looks like I’ve still got a ways to go.”

Heartmann said, self deprecating.

Heartmann: “Perhaps I’m just not trying hard enough…? As a man, I mean.”

Dorothy: “Huh? N-No, not at all…”

Heartmann: “All right, in that case, let’s have a date on the town!”

Dorothy: “Huh? A date?!”

Heartmann: “Let me put in some effort. As a man.”

Dorothy: “Are you…are you sure?”

Heartmann: “Of course I am. What, don’t want to go on a date?”

8.10

Dorothy: “N-No, not at all! I’m really glad you want to invite me on a date!”

Heartmann: “Then it’s settled!”

Dorothy: “Oh, w-wait, hold on…”

(Since we’re actually going on a date, I want to look nice!)

Can I change my clothes before we go? (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Haha… Very girlish, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Well, yeah. We’re going on a date, so I’ve got to look my best.”

Heartmann: “I’d love to see you dressed up, too. Go ahead, I’ll be waiting.”

Dorothy: “Are you sure? It’ll be a little bit…”

Heartmann: “I don’t mind. Being made to wait for a date is a man’s privilege after all. I’ll be waiting in front of the palace.”

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll be right back then! C’mon, Toto!”

(I knew I was just imagining things. I’m glad he asked me on a date!)

I hurried back to my room to change.

I had a few dresses from the palace wardrobe prepared in my room.

Dorothy: “All right, I’ve got to change quickly. Toto, help me out here.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Love Choice

Polite Skirt (Normal Item) – 200 coins/8,000 Spinels

Faithful Plaid Skirt (Premium Item) – 500 Coins

8.11

Changed and ready, I hurried back to Heartmann.

Dorothy: “All right, I’m back.”

Heartmann: “That’s a really nice dress! My, you just look good in anything.”

Heartmann said happily after looking at me.

Dorothy: “Does it look good on me?”

Heartmann: “Yeah, it’s like that dress was made for you.”

Dorothy: “Haha, it can’t look THAT good.”

Heartmann: “Well, at least I think so. But you know, Dorothy, you’ve got wonderful fashion sense.”

Dorothy: “Thanks!”

I felt really glad to hear Heartmann compliment me.

(Well, it looks like going all out was worth the effort.)

Heartmann: “So, what do you want to do in town?”

Dorothy: “Hmm…”

(You know, come to think of it, this is the first time I’ve been on a date…)

Heartmann: “What’s wrong?”

Dorothy: “O-Oh, nothing…”

(So what do you do on a date, anyway?)

I tried thinking of date things.

(Like, holding hands and walking together…)

Heartmann: “…”

(Then we look at the sunset together, and he slowly puts his hand around my shoulder…)

Just thinking about it made mt heart pound.

Toto: “…?”

(Then, as the air gets ever sweeter, we lean in for a kiss… Wait! What am I thinking?!)

Heartmann: “What’s wrong, Dorothy? Your face is getting really red…”

Dorothy: “Huh…?!”

Back to my senses, I quickly fanned my hot face with both hands.

Dorothy: “I didn’t want to keep you waiting, so I ran all the way here… Sheesh, it sure is hot.”

Heartmann: “Hahaha! In that case, let’s have something cold to drink in town.”

Dorothy: “And some nice treats, too!”

Heartmann: “Didn’t you just eat cookies?”

Dorothy: “I’m always willing to have more treats!”

Heartmann: “Sounds like you. In that case, let’s stop by a bakery or candy shop or something.”

Dorothy: “How about you, Heartmann? Is there anywhere you want to go, anything you want to do?”

Heartmann: “I’m fine just being with you. Let’s walk together, see the same things. laugh together, gaze into each other’s eyes…”

Heartmann said as he proceeded to look into my eyes.

(Oohh… Looks like you don’t have to do anything special to make it feel like you’re on a date, huh…)

Dorothy: “I want to walk with you, too. I want us to see the same things, to laugh together, to talk about all sorts of things…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

For a moment, I felt like I could see a hint of sadness in Heartmann’s eyes.

(Heartmann…?)

I tried to look him in the eyes, and when I opened my eyes wide to do so, they hurt, like something had pricked them.

Dorothy: “Ouch…!”

Heartmann: “What’s wrong?!”

Dorothy: “I think something got into my eye…”

Heartmann: “Hang on, don’t move…”

Heartmann bent over and peered into my face.

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 8 CG

Heartmann: “All right, try blinking gently?”

Dorothy: “All right…”

I blinked a few times, enduring the pain, until tears came from my eyes and the pain vanished.

Heartmann: “All right, looks like those tears got out whatever was in there.”

With that, Heartmann took out his handkerchief and wiped my tears.

Dorothy: “Thank you…”

Heartmann: “Just hold on for a bit longer.”

Heartmann brought his face even closer to mine.

(W-wait, is he…)

Since his face was nearly touching mine, I remembered what happened a few days ago.

Back when we almost ended up kissing.

My heartbeat sped up and I felt my cheeks heat up.

(Is he… is he going to kiss me…?)

I figured he could and it would be totally okay. Totally natural.

(Just a little bit and our lips will be on top of each other…come on…)

I almost stopped breathing.

Heartmann: “…Yeah, looks like there’s nothing else in your eyes. You don’t hurt anywhere, do you?”

(Wh-What?! He’s not going to kiss me?!)

It looked like he was just checking my eyes.

So I stared right back at him.

Heartmann: “Heh…”

Heartmann gently smiled and brought his lips to my ear.

Heartmann: “Were you expecting a kiss?”

Dorothy: “…!”

My eyes went wide in surprise.

When he saw, he let out a mischievous smile.

Heartmann: “Just kidding.”

Dorothy: “Huh…?”

(Wait, what was I expecting…?!)

I was too confused to think straight.

Dorothy: “I-It doesn’t hurt anymore, so I’m fine…”

I took a step away from him.

(I’ve just got to calm down…!)

Heartmann: “You’ve got really beautiful eyes, Dorothy. They’re like gems.”

He said with a smile.

(I can’t complain after hearing that…)

(But I feel like I’ve been led on again…)

Not noticing my complex feeling, Heartmann turned his eyes over to the town.

Heartmann: “Well, let’s get going. We’ll continue this later.”

(You know, when I think about it, this really is Heartmann… I’ve got to believe in him some more!)

8.12

Dorothy: “So, do you know anywhere that sells nice sweets?”

Heartmann: “I’ve got an idea. If memory serves… it’s got a red sign on the central street.”

Dorothy: “Take me there!”

Heartmann: “Gladly.”

Dorothy: “Oh, yeah, and…I’d love to go to a gift shop, if you could take me.”

Heartmann: “Sure. What’ll you buy?”

Dorothy: “Haha…that’s a secret. Well, let’s go!”

We enjoyed our date in Quadlings City.

Dorothy: “That shop had some wonderful treats!”

Heartmann: “Glad you liked them. I heard they’re a popular place, but it was the first I’d been there, too.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Looks like Toto liked it too.”

Heartmann: “Sounds like Toto’s a gourman.”

Toto: “Huff!”

Toto turned away.

Dorothy: “Looks like he doesn’t like the name…”

Heartmann: “Hahaha! I knew it wouldn’t catch on.”

Sorry, Leonardo…but I thought the same way.

8.13

Heartmann: “How about we walk for a little?’

Dorothy: “Sure.”

(We’re on a date, so I want to hold his hand while I do…)

(Wait for him to hold your hand.) (Intimacy +7)

I quietly moved myself to take his hand, but found myself pulling my hand back.

(You know, I think I’d rather have him hold my hand…)

(I’ll wait until he does.)

I walked alongside him, stealing glances as we moved.

Heartmann: “Hm?”

Seeming to notice my eyes, he turned to me.

Heartmann: “What, is there something on my face?”

Dorothy: “No, not really…”

Heartmann looked at my hand and gasped.

Heartmann: “O-Oh, sorry… This is a date, after all.”

Heartmann gripped my hand.

Dorothy: “Had you forgotten?”

Heartmann: “Well, I was just so happy to be with you I’d gotten a little lightheaded.”

Heartmann: “But you’re right. The guy’s got to be the one to hold hands.”

(He finally held my hand!)

Heartmann: “Say, what did you buy at that gift shop a while ago?”

Dorothy: “Haha… What do you think I bought?”

8.14

Before we went to the candy shop, we found a wonderful gift shop to stop in first.

Dorothy: “Here’s your present.”

I handed him the white handkerchief I’d bought.

Heartmann: “Really? I can have it?”

He looked between the handkerchief and me in surprise.

Dorothy: “It’s thanks for always being so nice. I told you I’d get you a present, didn’t I?”

Heartmann: “This is great! Thanks! I’ll treasure it!”

Heartmann let out a really delighted looking smile.

Heartmann: “Man, I feel so happy I just might cry.”

Dorothy: “Then you’ll get to use it right away.”

Heartmann: “Well, it’d be a shame to use it so soon, so I’ll hold the tears back.”

Dorothy: “Oh, Heartmann!”

We laughed loudly.

(…Wait, huh?)

I noticed something.

(He’s holding my hand, but I feel like he’s not holding it very tight…)

I kept a solid grip on his hand, but he didn’t exactly have a tight hold on mine.

(Wait, is he…)

The feeling of offness I had towards him started to come back with a vengeance.

Heartmann and His Friends

Heartmann: “Let me tell you about my dear friends.”

Heartmann: “That’s right. Crowlie and Leonardo.”

Heartmann: “Crowlie is a scarecrow who received brains from Oz. He’s very smart and likes to read.”

Heartmann: “In the Emerald City that he rules, he’s got a large library with books from all over the land.”

Heartmann: “Leonardo’s a lion who received courage from Oz. He loves eating and napping.”

Heartmann: “He’s a little mischievous sometimes, but I know that he’s got a king’s spirit hidden under that facade.”

Heartmann: “The three of us are kings now, but neither our bond nor our friendship has changed.”

Heartmann: “Oh, that’s right…it’s a bit of a side discussion, but I think I should speak about them, too.”

Heartmann: “Oz is someone who we owe a lot to. He’s the one who gave us that which we sought, that which is clear to us now.”

Heartmann: “He teases us a lot, but he’s a nice person. Really.”

Heartmann: “Wesley, the Wizard of the West, used to be our enemy…”

Heartmann: “…but, when I look at him now, I think he just needs something to get him to change. I can’t shake the thought.”

Heartmann: “Lord Solomon and Lord Norton. Both powerful wizards, and both the leaders of their countries.”

Heartmann: “They may be like beings above the clouds, but they’re people I am to emulate.”

Heartmann: “Haha…looks like I’m surrounded by interesting people, doesn’t it?”

Heartmann: “And I can’t let myself fall behind.”

Chapter 9: His Way of Loving Me (13/13)

9.1

I realized that I was truly in love with Heartmann.

And though I had felt something was wrong with him, our date rubbed that fear away.

Or at least, I thought it did.

Dorothy: “Hey, Toto…where do you think Heartmann went?”

Toto: “Woof…?”

The day after our date, I was searching for Heartmann.

(He wasn’t in his room, and he wasn’t in the great hall…)

Oz: “Hey little miss. What’re you doing out here alone?”

Then, Oz popped up.

Dorothy: “Oh, hey Oz. I’m looking around for Heartmann. Have you seen him anywhere?”

Oz: “Heartmann? Come to think of it, I saw him walking into the greenhouse a while back.”

Dorothy: “The greenhouse?”

Oz: “Yeah, I’m sure it was him. No one else wears armor like that.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Oz.”

Oz: “Oh, Dorothy…”

Oz stopped me before I could go to the greenhouse.

Dorothy: “Yes?”

Oz: “Er…”

He looked like he wanted to say something, but he immediately put on a face of feigned ignorance.

9.2

Oz: “Er, nothing… Sorry to stop you.”

(Weird…)

I hurried towards the greenhouse.

Since it was afternoon, the greenhouse was really warm.

Being surrounded by beautiful flowers and strange trees made me feel like I was in a tropical forest.

(I wonder if Heartmann’s here?!)

As I searched through the room, I found Heartmann looking up at a tree.

Dorothy: “Heartmann!”

I called out to him, and he turned around with his regular, gentle smile.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, look at this tree! Can you believe it’s gotten this big in just two years?”

The tree in question stood two times Heartmann’s height.

Heartmann: “I heard from Lord Solomon that you can eat its fruit, too.”

Dorothy: “That does sound pretty wonderful, but… what are you doing here?”

Heartmann: “I had some business with this tree.”

(Business with a tree? What does he mean by that?)

Heartmann: “What do you think I have to do with this tree?”

(Huh…?)

Plant it in Winkies (Intimacy +7)

(It grows fast and has edible fruit, so…)

Dorothy: “Are you going to plant it in Winkies?”

Heartmann: “Hey, yeah! Good call! That’s right. I really want to try planting a few of these in Winkies.”

Heartmann: “It’ll give us more green, more lumber, and more food. All things that Winkies needs.”

Dorothy: “You really are thinking of your country, huh.”

Heartmann: “Haha…Well, the land’s in my hands, so like it or not, I need to.”

9.3

Heartmann: “So, what brings you here, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “I was looking for you. I couldn’t find you in your room, so…”

Heartmann: “Oohh. Well, I was in my room this morning, doing some woodworking.”

Dorothy: “Woodworking?”

Heartmann: “I was pretty good at it back when I was a woodsman. Even now I’ll make little crafts and furniture. It’s a hobby.”

Dorothy: “So, the king does woodworking…that’s pretty interesting.”

Heartmann: “My creations are pretty well received.”

Dorothy: “Then how about making me something?”

Heartmann: “Haha, I’ll have to think of something.”

Then, when he smiled at me, I noticed there was a small piece of wood in his hair.

(It must’ve gotten stuck there when he was crafting whatever he was crafting. I’ll take it off for him…)

I reached out to pick the piece of wood from his hair.

Heartmann: “!”

Heartmann, however, pushed it away, as if it was afraid.

Dorothy: “Huh…?!”

I pulled my hand back in surprise.

Heartmann: “Oh…?!”

Heartmann was frozen in shock.

Dorothy: “…”

I stood there staring, frozen too.

9.4

Charisma Contest 

12,000 Charisma Required

Heartmann: “Sorry…! You kind of reached out all of a sudden, and I was surprised, and… It didn’t hurt, did it?”

Heartmann quickly apologized.

Dorothy: “I’m fine. Ah…there was some wood stuck in your hair, so…”

Heartmann: “Huh? There was?”

He brushed at his hair, and the small piece of wood dropped to the floor.

Heartmann: “I guess it got there when I was crafting… Ahah. I usually get really into it, so I don’t notice when things like that happen…”

Heartmann strained out a smile.

(But, Heartmann, you looked scared…)

My heart sunk at the shock of having my hand swatted away.

(I knew he was avoiding me…)

The offness I felt about Heartmann only grew stronger.

(He’s avoiding me…and I felt something was weird because he’s been hiding that!)

(Why is he avoiding me…? I don’t understand…)

Worry, anxiety, and disappointment engulfed me.

Heartmann: “Sorry for knocking your hand away. I didn’t mean any harm by it. Will you forgive me?”

He had his usual, bright smile.

But I could only think of it as false now.

Dorothy: “It’s all right. I didn’t say anything before I reached out, so I can understand why you’d be surprised.”

With that, I forced myself to smile.

9.5

Dorothy: “Oh, I forgot to give Toto his lunch.”

Toto: “?”

Toto tilted his head at my sudden lie.

Dorothy: “I think he’s really hungry, so I’m going to give him something at the dining hall.”

Heartmann: “Oh, uh, sure, but…didn’t you have something you wanted to talk to me about?”

Dorothy: “No…I just wanted to talk a little, was all.”

Heartmann: “Really?”

Dorothy: “Well, I’ll see you later, Heartmann. Let’s go, Toto.”

Enduring my worry and sadness, I left the greenhouse with Toto.

Back at the dining hall, I let out a large sigh.

(Oh, what should I do…?)

Toto: *Whine*

Toto looked up at me with a worried face.

And on that beat, Leonardo and Crowlie came up to me.

Crowlie: “Hm? Say, isn’t that Dorothy?”

Leonardo: “What’s the matter? You look really down.”

(I talked to them last time, so maybe I should talk to them again.)

Dorothy: “I ran into Heartmann in the greenhouse, but when I tried to brush some wood from his hair, he swatted my hand away.”

Crowlie: “He swatted your hand?”

9.6

Dorothy: “He said it was because he was surprised, but…”

Leonardo: “Well, that’s not too hard to swallow.”

Crowlie: “You sure you’re not just reading too much into it?”

Dorothy: “Well, yesterday, he wasn’t really holding my hand too well, either…”

Crowlie: “Really, now?”

Leonardo: “Well, how should he have been holding your hand?”

Crowlie and Leonardo exchanged curious looks.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…might not actually love me…”

Crowlie: “What? Nothing could be further from the truth! He loves you so deeply, Dorothy!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, if you don’t believe anything else, just believe that!”

Dorothy: “But…”

Crowlie: “Leonardo and I really love you, too.”

Crowlie: “But you chose Heartmann to be your romantic partner. He’s got to love you far more than we do.”

Crowlie: “He’s serious, so we decided to cheer on your relationship.”

Leonardo: “And, besides, last night, he looked really happy, looking at his handkerchief.”

Leonardo: “When I tried it steal it away and blow my nose with it, he got seriously mad at me.”

Leonardo: “And he said that you gave him that handkerchief as a present.”

(Huh…?)

9.7

Leonardo: “He wouldn’t get that mad if he didn’t really love you, don’t you think?”

Dorothy: “Then why did he swat my hand away?”

Crowlie: “Well, er…”

Dorothy: “I just don’t understand him…”

(And not understanding him hurts. I’m so sad I can’t take it…!)

(I love to see him smile, but seeing a fake smile like that just makes me sad…)

Crowlie: “Dorothy, don’t look so hurt…”

Leonardo: “We should probably get to the bottom of this…”

Crowlie: “You’re right.”

Dorothy: “Well, what should we do?”

Crowlie: “We should talk to Heartmann directly and get him to tell the truth.”

Leonardo: “We’ll go talk to him.”

Dorothy: “Huh? W-Wait, you guys…!”

(What should I do…?!)

Dorothy: “Then I’ll come with you!” (Intimacy +7)

Crowlie: “You will?”

Leonardo: “You can just wait here, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “This is between me and Heartmann. I want to hear how he feels, too.”

Leonardo: “Really? It could just end up hurting you more. You ready for that?”

Crowlie: “Leonardo’s right. Please, wait here.”

Dorothy: “I’m fine with it, really. Please, take me with you.”

Crowlie: “You really do love him, then…”

Leonardo: “All right, let’s go together.”

The three of us headed for Heartmann.

9.8

We ran into Heartmann on the way to the greenhouse.

Dorothy: “Oh, Heartmann!”

His eyes went wide when he saw the three of us.

Heartmann: “You’re all together? What’s up, everyone?”

Crowlie: “We’ve got something to talk with you about.”

Heartmann: “With me? What do you need…?”

Leonardo: “You having started hating Dorothy, have you?”

Heartmann: “W-Wait, why? There’s no way I would!”

Crowlie: “…”

Leonardo: “But Dorothy thinks you’ve been avoiding her.”

Heartmann: “She does?”

Dorothy: “…”

Heartmann: “Hahaha…that’s got to be some kind of mistake.”

Heartmann strained out a smile, seeming on the spot.

Crowlie: “Then why did you swat Dorothy’s hand away?”

Heartmann: “Her hand…? Oh, back in the greenhouse…”

Heartmann: “I was just surprised and did it…reflexively. Is that what’s got you suspicious?”

Leonardo: “Then why didn’t you hold Dorothy’s hand tight enough on your date yesterday?”

Heartmann: “W-Wait! Did you year that from her?”

9.9

Dorothy: “…”

Heartmann: “Really…? Well, I’m wearing armor, so I thought it would just hurt Dorothy’s hand if I held it too tightly.”

Leonardo: “Really, now?”

Heartmann: “Really, I’m serious. I don’t want to hurt the woman I love.”

Crowlie: “…”

Crowlie: “You’re lying.”

Heartmann: “Huh…?”

Crowlie: “If you’re considerate enough to know that holding her hand with your armor would hurt…”

Crowlie: “…then you should be able to notice that Dorothy thinks you’re avoiding her.”

Heartmann: “…!”

Crowlie: “The Heartmann I know would notice right away.”

Leonardo: “Looks like Dorothy’s worry was right on point…”

Dorothy: “…”

Heartmann: “Haha… Come on, now, I’m not that perfect a man. Right, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “I don’t understand you, Heartmann. Not anymore…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

Leonardo: “Dorothy’s been worried sick, man.”

Heartmann: “Then I’ll apologize, but I really have no reason to lie.”

Crowlie: “Is it for Dorothy’s sake?”

Heartmann: “!”

9.10

(What…?)

Crowlie: “Are you lying for Dorothy’s sake?”

Heartmann: “What are you talking about? Look, you’re looking far too deeply into something that isn’t there…!”

Crowlie: “I know that you love Dorothy from the bottom of your heart.”

Crowlie: “And that’s the only reason I can think you would lie so much. Am I wrong, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “You’re really making this difficult… What should I say to get you guys to stop doubting me?”

Leonardo: “Heartmann, that’s enough!”

Leonardo’s roar echoed throughout the hallway.

Leonardo: “Are you doing all this for Dorothy?!”

Heartmann: “…”

Leonardo: “Come on, say something!”

Leonardo grabbed Heartmann by the collar.

Dorothy: “You guys, stop fighting!”

Leonardo: “Grr…”

Leonardo’s balled fist quivered.

Heartmann: “Leonardo, I don’t want to fight with you either.”

Leonardo: “Then come out and tell me the truth!”

Heartmann: “I’m telling you, I’m not lying.”

Leonardo: “No, you are.”

Heartmann: “And how do you know that?”

9.11

Leonardo: “I can tell by the look in your eyes. Because we’ve known each other for that long.”

???: “What’s all this commotion for?”

(…!)

I turned around to the sudden voice to see Solomon floating through the air towards us.

Dorothy: “Solomon…?!”

Leonardo: “Lord Solomon…!”

Leonardo let go of Heartmann’s collar.

Solomon: “I could hear the roar from all the way down the hall.”

Solomon looked rather calm, but his eyes were attentive, vigilant.

Solomon: “Are you fighting about something?”

Heartmann: “Forgive us for the commotion. It’s nothing serious, so…”

Leonardo: “…”

Dorothy: “It’s nothing, really! So don’t worry about it, Solomon.”

Solomon: “…”

Solomon looked at us all, his eyes cautious.

Solomon: “I’ll see you all at the throne room, then.”

Dorothy: “What…?”

Heartmann: “Why, Lord Solomon?”

Solomon: “We’ll talk about that when we get to the throne room.”

9.12

Like Solomon had asked, we all came to the throne room.

Solomon was sitting in the throne, and Norton was standing next to him.

Leonardo: “I wonder if he’s going to get mad at us…”

Dorothy: “Who knows…”

Solomon: “Now, then, let’s hear what happened. Dorothy, can you tell me?”

Dorothy: “Well, it really isn’t that big of a deal…”

(I really can’t talk to Solomon about this…)

(What should I do…?)

(Keep quiet…) (Intimacy +7)

(Well, Crowlie and the others will probably get in trouble because of me…)

(…and Heartmann’ll probably get the worst of it, too…)

(I’d better stay quiet.)

Dorothy: “…”

Solomon: “Well then, Heartmann, do tell. What happened?”

Heartmann: “Well…”

Heartmann didn’t try to speak any further.

(Looks like Heartmann doesn’t want to talk for our sake, either…)

Norton: “Lord Solomon asked you a question.”

Norton said in a pointed voice.

Heartmann: “…”

Solomon: “I’m afraid we’ll get nowhere at this rate.”

Crowlie: “Please, wait!”

(Crowlie…?!)

Heartmann: “…?!”

Leonardo: “Huh…?!”

Crowlie: “I will explain.”

9.13

Solomon: “Very well, Crowlie. Do tell us.”

Crowlie: “It seems Heartmann was lying to Dorothy and putting up distance between them.”

Solomon: “Lying and growing distant?”

Norton: “…”

Crowlie: “She came to Leonardo and myself, so we were questioning Heartmann.”

Heartmann: “…”

Solomon: “And that’s why you ended up fighting?”

Crowlie: “Right…however, Heartmann truly loves Dorothy.”

Solomon: “Even though he’s lying?”

Crowlie: “He must have a reason to lie to her despite his love.”

Heartmann: “…!”

Solomon: “And what might that reason be?”

Crowlie: “That, I cannot say I know…”

Solomon: “Heartmann, what is your reason?”

Heartmann: “…”

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon, I beg of you. Would you allow us to solve this problem among ourselves?”

Leonardo: “Please!”

Heartmann: “Crowlie…Leonardo…”

Dorothy: “I want to ask that, too! We’ll work it out, Solomon, really!”

Solomon: “Regardless of Heartmann’s reason, because he was chosen as your partner, this attitude is rather problematic.”

Solomon: “I will have to strip Heartmann… if his right to be Dorothy’s boyfriend.”

Heartmann: “Wh-What…?!”

Dorothy: “You will…?!”

No one could believe their ears at Solomon’s ultimatum.

Crowlie: “Take away Heartmann’s right to be her boyfriend…?!”

Leonardo: “Y-You can’t be serious!”

Norton: “Heh…”

Heartmann: “I can’t be with you anymore…?”

Heartmann stared at me in shock.

How Is It to Be a Human?

Dorothy: “There’s something I wanted to ask the three of you.”

Heartmann: “What is it?”

Dorothy: “How do you feel, as humans?”

Crowlie: “I’m rather fond of this body.”

Crowlie: “Though it is a little bothersome to have to take time to eat and sleep.”

Dorothy: “Haha… Very different from when you were a scarecrow, huh?”

Leonardo: “And I was a lion, so it still feels weird to stand on two legs.”

Dorothy: “What, really?”

Leonardo: “It’s hard to keep balance, though it is pretty handy that I have, well… hands.”

Heartmann: “I’m pretty irked by the fact that I have to watch out about getting cuts and the like.”

Dorothy: “I can see that. I don’t think you’d get hurt with a body of tin.”

Heartmann: “Right, I was pretty sturdy back then.”

Leonardo: “Isn’t it the same with your armor now?”

Heartmann: “Haha…true, true. But you know, there’s one thing I really like about having a human body.”

Dorothy: “What’s that?”

Heartmann: “Being able to have the same sensations as Dorothy does.”

Crowlie: “Pain, cold, heat…”

Leonardo: “People’s warmth, their kindness…”

Heartmann: “So that’s why I like this human body of mine.”

Chapter 10: Right to Be a Boyfriend (14/14)

10.1

Solomon: “I will have to strip Heartmann… of his right to be to Dorothy’s romantic partner!”

Heartmann: “What…?!”

Dorothy: “You will…?!”

No one could believe their ears at Solomon’s ultimatum. This actually says eyes the second time around, but oh well.

Crowlie: “Take away Heartmann’s right to be her boyfriend…?!”

Leonardo: “Y-You can’t be serious!”

Norton: “Heh…”

Heartmann: “…”

Heartmann stared at me in shock.

(Heartmann…)

Heartmann: “I…can’t be with you anymore…?”

Crowlie: “Lord Solomon, please, wait!”

Crowlie stepped forward and pleaded.

Crowlie: “Do you not think this is too harsh?!”

Leonardo: “I think so, too!”

Leonardo stepped forward as well.

Leonardo: “We can solve this if we just sit down and talk!”

Solomon: “Sit down and talk? Just who was it that was about to punch him, again?”

Solomon responded with a strangely cold tone.

10.2

Leonardo: “W-Well, I… Hey, Heartmann’s got to have some kind of reason…!”

Solomon: “And he’s made no move to make that reason clear, leaving us in this predicament.”

Leonardo: “B-But…!”

Norton: “Stand down! Lord Solomon has made his decision!”

Leonardo: “Grah…!”

Crowlie: “…!”

Dorothy: “Solomon, please, think this over…!”

Solomon: “There is no need for that. We will have you choose another partner, instead.”

Dorothy: “A-Another partner…?!”

Heartmann: “!”

Solomon: “Heartmann will, of course, not be one of the choices.”

Dorothy: “You’re taking Heartmann out…?!”

Leonardo: “That’s just too much!”

Solomon: “Though chosen to be with Dorothy, he acted in a way unbefitting of her boyfriend.”

Solomon: “It is only natural for him to be excluded.”

Solomon turned his eyes to Heartmann.

Solomon: “Heartmann, I am disappointed in you.”

Heartmann: “!”

10.3

Heartmann bit his lip at Solomon’s quiet, harsh words.

Solomon: “Well then, Dorothy. I trust you have no problems with choosing another partner?”

(I’ve got to speak my mind, or I’ll lose Heartmann!)

Dorothy: “I don’t want to choose someone else.” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “What?!”

Solomon: “Why?”

Dorothy: “I chose Heartmann to be with me. Isn’t that enough?”

Solomon: “He no longer has the right to be your partner.”

Dorothy: “Isn’t that weird? Why does he need the right? Why does he need your approval?”

Dorothy: “I can’t go and choose someone else just because you told me to, Solomon.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

Leonardo: “Well said, Dorothy!”

Dorothy: “If you really want me to choose again, then put Heartmann in the running, too!”

Solomon’s expression got even harsher at my objection.

Solomon: “In that case, you have forced my hand… I will return Heartmann to his original form.”

Dorothy: “What?!”

10.4

Heartmann: “My original form?!”

Leonardo: “You mean you’ll make him a tin man again?!”

Crowlie: “He won’t be human anymore…?!”

Leonardo and Crowlie were both shocked.

They knew they would meet the same fate if they went against Solomon.

Solomon: “If you’re not in a worthy enough body, I’m sure Dorothy won’t choose you.”

Heartmann: “Guh…”

Dorothy: “That’s terrible…!”

Norton: “Heh. Returning you to your original form is quite the simple act for Lord Solomon.”

Leonardo: “Please, anything but that!”

Solomon: “You were made of tin before. Is going back so bad?”

Crowlie: “But that’s…that’s terrible! You can’t do that…!”

Heartmann: “…”

I felt like someone had stabbed my heart with something sharp as I saw Heartmann there, completely dejected.

(Heartmann…)

In my vision, his old tin frame floated over his shocked self.

(Does he look like that because he’s wearing armor…?)

(No, that’s not it! Even if he looks different, he’s still the same as he was back then!)

(His heart hasn’t changed at all!)

Dorothy: “…Even if he goes back to his old form, I’ll still choose him as my boyfriend!”

10.5

Heartmann: “!”

Dorothy: “I don’t care what he looks like. The man I chose…”

Dorothy: “…was you, Heartmann.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…!”

His eyes shone at my words.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, you… Oh, that’s it…!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, there’s no mistaking it! Heartmann’s the man for you!”

Norton: “Are you all serious? You still intend to oppose Lord Solomon so…?!”

Dorothy: “He’s not Solomon’s partner, he’s mine! I’ll choose who I love!”

Norton: “Will you stand by as Heartmann goes back to his original form?!”

Dorothy: “I don’t care! No matter what he looks like, Heartmann is Heartmann!”

Norton: “Guh…!”

Solomon: “Heartmann…”

Solomon started to talk to Heartmann.

Solomon: “Look at how far Dorothy is willing to go for you. Are you still going to ignore her feelings?”

Heartmann kept his eyes on me, not responding to Solomon.

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

Heartmann: “Will you really choose me, even if I turn back to my original form?”

I gently took Heartmann’s hand and nodded.

Dorothy: “Will you choose me, Heartmann?”

10.6

A tinge of resolution appeared in Heartmann’s eyes.

He took a light breath, held out his chest, and turned to Solomon.

Heartmann: “I am Dorothy’s boyfriend.”

He stepped in front of me, as if to protect me.

Heartmann: “And if you will stand in the way of that, Lord Solomon, then I will claim the right to her heart even if I must defeat you for it!”

Everyone gasped at Heartmann’s bold declaration.

Solomon: “Defeat me?”

Still glaring at Solomon, Heartmann nodded.

(Heartmann…!)

I could tell then just how seriously he was in a face off with Solomon.

Crowlie: “Heartmann, are you really standing up to Lord Solomon?!”

Leonardo: “Whoa, whoa, this is getting way out of hand…!”

Crowlie: “I don’t think he’ll get off easy…”

Leonardo: “You can say that again…”

They looked to each other and nodded seriously.

Norton: “Heartmann, what are you thinking?!”

Norton: “Only the greatest of fools would stand against Lord Solomon!”

Heartmann: “…”

Leonardo: “Yeah, and that makes us the greatest of fools!”

10.7

Leonardo stood beside Heartmann.

Norton: “Do you honestly think you can defeat Lord Solomon?!”

Crowlie: “We will not know until we try!”

Crowlie also stood with them.

Norton: “The three of you will go back to your original forms! Do you truly want to go through with this?!”

Heartmann: “We can still fight in our old forms. Armor, tin…it’s more or less the same.”

Leonardo: “I wouldn’t mind using my old fangs and claws either!”

Crowlie: “A body of straw feels no pain. I’ll fight without fear!”

Solomon: “…”

Norton: “What fools…”

Norton looked completely vexed.

Norton: “Lord Solomon needs not lift a finger…!”

Norton fell into a battle stance and the air began to shake. The chandelier on the ceiling, too, began to rumble.

(Is he going to cast a spell?!)

Sensing that, Heartmann and the others stood at the ready in front of me in my defense.

Tension dominated the area, and invisible sparks flew between both parties.

(This…this is going to end terribly!)

10.8

I worried. One wrong move was all it took.

(Wh-What should I do…?!)

(I’ve got to stop them…!) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Everyone, stop fighting!”

Heartmann: “We can’t pull back, not now. Our lives are on the line.”

Crowlie: “I’ve made up my mind, too. As a friend, as a companion, I’m going to protect the both of you!”

Leonardo: “This is how we do things. So don’t stop us.”

Dorothy: “But you’re up against wizards! They can use magic!”

Heartmann: “Yeah, we know.”

Crowlie: “Any plans?”

Heartmann: “We’re just going to charge in there.”

Leonardo: “Heh, thought so. That’s what I like to hear! Let’s bring ’em down!”

(I know how they feel, but this is ridiculous!)

And Norton wasn’t going to let the battle ready three slide, either.

Norton: “Since you’ve decided to oppose Lord Solomon, I can pardon your actions no longer!”

(Looks like all I can do is believe in them…!)

Norton: “I’ll vanquish you…!”

A ball of red light appeared in both of Norton’s hands as he looked at us with cold eyes.

10.9

Little bolts of energy crackled around the spheres.

Heartmann: “Here it comes…!”

Heartmann and the others were wrapped in tension.

(That’ll destroy whoever it hits…!)

Dorothy: “Please, stop!”

Solomon: “Pfff…!”

Solomon suddenly burst out laughing.

(Huh? Solomon…?)

Then, he held his stomach as he doubled over.

Solomon: “Ahahaha! Ah, that was hilarious!”

Heartmann: “Huh…?”

Leonardo: “‘Scuse me?”

Crowlie: “Just what in the…?”

Solomon’s sudden burst of laughter changed the tense air of the room in one shot.

Solomon: “Norton, that’s enough.”

Norton: “Oh…?”

The spheres of light disappeared from Norton’s hands.

Solomon: “Aside from the Wizards of the East and West, you’re the first person to challenge me, Heartmann.”

Solomon chuckled, looking at Heartmann.

10.10

Heartmann: “I’d rather you not put me in with those bad wizards.”

Solomon: “It looks like you’ve cut through your hesitation about being Dorothy’s partner, then.”

Solomon spoke with his usual, soft expression.

Solomon: “And if you’re both in love, then there’s no problem.”

Heartmann: “What do you mean…?”

Solomon: “I grant you your right to be hers again.”

Heartmann: “…?!”

Dorothy: “Really?!”

Solomon: “Really.”

Dorothy: “Then I won’t have to choose someone else?”

Solomon: “Of course not. There’s no longer any need. And besides, you weren’t going to, were you?”

Dorothy: “Oh, thank goodness!”

Heartmann: “I get to…stay with you, Dorothy…”

Leonardo: “Hey man, don’t gape like that! Be happy!”

Crowlie: “I can’t believe it, but…we did it!”

Heartmann: “Thank you, everyone!”

With a smile of pure joy, Heartmann cried.

Leonardo: “Is this really any time to cry?”

Crowlie: “Really. Listen to Leonardo.”

10.11

Dorothy: “Wipe your tears, Heartmann.”

Heartmann: “Y-You’re right. Hahaha…!”

Heartmann pulled out the handkerchief I gave him and wiped his tears.

Norton: “Are you all right with this, Lord Solomon?”

Norton asked Solomon, seeming confused.

Solomon: “We can leave the rest to them.”

Norton: “…”

Solomon: “Can’t accept that?”

Norton: “It’s not that, but…can we really forgive those who opposed you so easily?”

Solomon: “I’d say we can. It wasn’t like anyone was watching.”

Norton: “Very well…”

Solomon floated up from his throne, looked down at us and smiled.

Solomon: “Dorothy, Heartmann, take the time to have a nice, long talk.”

With that, he floated on out of the throne room.

Norton: “…”

Looking at us with strangely cold eyes, Norton followed Solomon out of the room.

Heartmann: “Dorothy…sorry for worrying you like that.”

Heartmann took my hand and smiled gently.

Crowlie: “Leonardo, let’s go, too.”

Leonardo: “Huh? Why…?”

Crowlie: “Get the hint. Please.”

10.12

Leonardo: “Huh… O-Oh, yeah, right! We’ll just get in the way…”

As Crowlie and Leonardo headed out the room, Heartmann called to them.

Heartmann: “Thanks, you two! Really!”

Crowlie: “No problem. We’re friends, aren’t we?”

Leonardo: “Dorothy is in your hands!”

The two headed out, and Heartmann chuckled happily.

Heartmann: “They really do crazy things, huh…?”

Dorothy: “I’m really glad you all got to stay human.”

Heartmann: “Haha…I hear that.”

Heartmann looked right at me.

Heartmann: “Sorry for worrying you like that.”

With that, he hugged me.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

Heartmann: “I was really happy.”

Dorothy: “A-About?”

Heartmann: “How you said you’d still choose me, even if I turned back into a tin man…”

Dorothy: “Well, it’s the truth…”

Heartmann: “Oh, I haven’t given you my answer yet.”

Dorothy: “To what?”

Heartmann: “When you asked if I would choose you as my partner…”

Dorothy: “Oh, that…”

10.13

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 16,000

Heartmann looked me right in the eyes.

Heartmann: “You’re the only one I’d want to choose. I love you and only you, Dorothy.”

His answer sent a shock through my chest.

Dorothy: “Oh, Heartmann…! I love you, too.”

Our faces drew to each other slowly.

(Up until now, we’ve come close to kissing, but never done it…)

(Will he really kiss me this time…?)

(I really don’t want him to pull back at the last second again, so I’m going to ask him!) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann…”

Heartmann: “Yes?”

Dorothy: “Would you…kiss me?”

Heartmann: “Why would you ask that?”

Dorothy: “Well…”

Heartmann: “Of course I’m going to. I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long, long time.”

Heartmann’s lips gently came to mine.

The feeling of his soft lips had my heart singing. I felt like I was floating in midair.

(I can feel Heartmann’s affection…)

(He really loves me.)

I was so happy I could confirm that with this kiss.

10.14

When his lips pulled away, he spoke up, his cheeks a little red.

Heartmann: “I finally got to kiss you, Dorothy.”

(And I finally got to kiss you, Heartmann.)

We kept on staring at each other and smiled.

At that, Heartmann’s expression suddenly grew serious.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, there’s something I’ve been hiding from you.”

Dorothy: “?”

Heartmann: “But, I can’t tell you what it is yet.”

(He’s hiding something from me…? Just what could it be?)

Heartmann: “But I want you to believe me. I won’t avoid you because of that anymore!”

Dorothy: “Heartmann…!”

The seriousness in his eyes really struck my heart.

(If he’s this serious about it, I have to believe in him…!)

(I’m sure of his love now. No matter what he’s hiding, it’s got to be something small.)

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll believe in you, Heartmann.”

Heartmann: “Thanks, Dorothy.”

Heartmann held me tight.

(Don’t let me go anymore, Heartmann…)

As I felt the weight of his love, I wished for it with all my heart.

After Becoming a Couple

Heartmann: “I’m really relieved that we’re together, Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “A lot happened, but I’m glad to know how you really feel.”

Heartmann: “I used to think there were all sorts of forms of love, but…”

Heartmann: “In the end, it’s meaningless if your feelings aren’t on the same page. I learned that lesson all too well.

Heartmann: “The moment of destiny is coming, and before that, I have to tell you everything…”

Heartmann: “But I won’t lie anymore. Not to you, and not to myself!”

Heartmann: “Because between two people who love each other…there’s no need for lies.”

Heartmann: “But man, Lord Solomon sure was something, wasn’t he?”

Heartmann: “He saw through everything. I can’t measure up to him in the least, but…I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart.”

Heartmann: “Well, it’s almost your birthday. And until then, I want us to have the best time together we can.”

Heartmann: “So, until then. I love you, Dorothy.”

Chapter 11: Cuddling in the Sun (14/14)

11.1

The next morning had come.

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Good morning, Toto.”

Since what happened yesterday, I’d been far too excited to sleep.

Dorothy: “I’ve barely slept, but I’m not sleepy!”

Toto: “Bow?!”

Dorothy: “Because, I mean…I kissed Heartmann! We actually kissed!”

Toto: *Yawn*…

Toto yawned, seeming completely uninterested.

Dorothy: “Hey, come on, At least listen a little! Heartmann and I became a REAL couple!”

Toto: “…”

Dorothy: “I guess you don’t want to listen, then… Hm. I wonder if Heartmann’s already awake?”

Dorothy: “Well, if he’s sleeping, I’ll wake him up! Come on, Toto!”

Toto: “Woof!”

As I walked down the hall towards Heartmann’s room, I ran into Leonardo.

Leonardo: “Hey there, Dorothy. What’s got you up so early?”

Dorothy: “Good morning, Leonardo!”

I answered energetically and Leonardo smirked.

Leonardo: “Y’seem to be in an awfully good mood. Something nice happened after that yesterday?”

11.2

Dorothy: “Haha… I’ll leave that to your imagination.”

Leonardo: “Did you kiss him?”

Dorothy: “A girl’s gotta have her secrets, haha!”

Leonardo: “Gah, you definitely kissed him! Ah, that Heartmann… I’m so jealous!”

Dorothy: “About Heartmann… Is he still sleeping?”

Leonardo: “Nah. Took a peek into his room, but didn’t see him there.”

Dorothy: “Huh? I wonder where he went…?”

Leonardo: “Who knows. Out for a walk, maybe?”

Dorothy: “Well, I’ll go take a look for him!”

Leonardo: “Oh, how about we go to the dining hall?”

Dorothy: “The dining hall?”

Leonardo: “I’m pretty hungry, so I was on my way there. Heartmann might be there too, y’know.”

Dorothy: “All right, let’s pay it a visit.”

Leonardo: “Sweet, let’s go!”

When Leonardo and I got to the dining hall, we found Oz drinking tea.

Dorothy: “Good morning, Oz!”

Oz: “Howdy, little miss. You look pretty well today. How about having some tea with me?”

Dorothy: “I’m looking for Heartmann. Has he come by here?”

Oz: “Nope, haven’t seen him today.”

Leonardo: “Just where’d he go off to?”

11.3

Leonardo wondered as he sipped a fresh cup of tea that he totally didn’t ask for.

Oz: “Hey, don’t drink my tea!”

Leonardo: “No need to be such a square, man. We’re buddies, aren’t we?”

Oz: “Since when…?!”

Leonardo: “But y’know, I really wish you could’ve seen Heartmann yesterday.”

Oz: “Something happened?”

Dorothy: “Well, a lot, actually…”

Leonardo: “Get this. Heartmann openly opposed Lord Solomon, I kid you not.”

Oz: “What? Are you serious?”

Leonardo: “Yeah, it was like a fight could break out any minute.”

Oz: “Heartmann? Mr. Calm himself? What’d he do that for?”

Leonardo: “He had his reasons. I can’t say the details, but Lord Solomon was trying to take away his right to be with Dorothy.”

Oz; “Whoa, wait a second, you guys… Just what are you doing where I can’t see you?”

Dorothy: “It would’ve been nice if you were there, Oz…”

Oz: “So what happened, then?”

Leonardo: “Heartmann went and declared ‘I’m Dorothy’s boyfriend!’ right to his face. Crazy, huh?”

Oz: “Wow…”

Dorothy: “Leonardo and Crowlie took Heartmann’s side, so Norton got really, really mad…”

Leonardo: “There’s no way we could’ve left our friend behind.”

11.4

Oz: “You were up against wizards. There’s no way you could win.”

Leonardo: “Yeah, yeah, I know. We just kind of…went along with it. Heart was pounding, though!”

Oz: “Even with that courage I gave you?”

Leonardo: “Come on, you know who I was up against. Lord Solomon, the man himself! We nearly got turned back to our old forms.”

Oz: “Heh, I wouldn’t mind seeing that.”

Leonardo: “I wouldn’t mind going back, but I wouldn’t want that to happen to Heartmann. He wouldn’t go well with Dorothy anymore.”

Dorothy: “Really? I don’t mind. No matter what he looks like, Heartmann’s still Heartmann.”

Leonardo: “See? Just listen to that.”

Oz: “…”

Oz; “You really love Heartmann that much, then?”

Dorothy: “Y-Yeah. You don’t have to ask about it…”

Oz: “I see. So that’s why Solomon let you off the hook. Sounds like him.”

Dorothy: “Huh?”

Leonardo: “What do you mean?”

Oz: “I mean he never intended to break you two up in the first place.”

Leonardo: “Seriously?!”

Oz: “He just wanted to see if the love between them was real. That’s how Solomon does things.”

Leonardo: “Seriously?! I got all scared over nothing?!”

Oz: “But that Heartmann sure knows how to surprise ’em…”

11.5

Dorothy: “Well, like I said, I’m looking for him…”

Oz: “Oh, yeah. Well, how about heading to the great hall? He might be there.”

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll go check.”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, hang on a second. Let me eat something.”

Dorothy: “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll go on alone. You can take your time.”

I took Toto with me and headed for the great hall.

(I wonder if Heartmann’s around…?)

Crowlie: “Oh, it’s Dorothy. Good morning.”

I encountered Crowlie in the great hall.

Dorothy: “Good morning, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “So, what brings you hear alone?”

Dorothy: “I’m looking for Heartmann. Do you know where he went?”

Crowlie: “Ah, I saw him go towards the greenhouse.”

Dorothy: “Greenhouse! Got it!”

Crowlie: “So, Dorothy, what happened after that encounter yesterday?”

Dorothy: “I started to believe in him again. Thanks, Crowlie.”

Crowlie: “You did? That’s good news. So, did you…kiss him?”

Dorothy: “H-Huh..?”

(WHY is everyone asking me that?)

11.6

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 22,000

Dorothy: “W-Well, uh…”

When my face went red, Crowlie nodded in understanding.

Crowlie: “It would appear that you did.”

Dorothy: “…”

Crowlie: “I’ll have to punish Heartmann later, then…!”

Dorothy: “Why?!”

Crowlie: “Because I’m jealous.”

Dorothy: “You can’t do that.”

Crowlie: “Hahaha! I’m joking, really. So you’re off to the greenhouse, then?”

Dorothy: “Yeah.”

Crowlie: “Allow me to come with you.”

Dorothy: “Huh? How come?”

Crowlie: “I won’t get in your way. I’m tagging along…just in case.”

Dorothy: “Just in case?”

Crowlie: “If he isn’t there, I’ll look for him with you.”

Dorothy: “Thanks. Let’s go, then.”

However, in the greenhouse was…

Wesley: “Tch… Gee, sorry to disappoint.”

Dorothy: “I-It’s not that I’m disappointed, but…did Heartmann come through here?”

11.7

Wesley: “You’re outta luck. But I gotta say, you gave me a real show yesterday!”

Dorothy: “What do you mean?”

Wesley: “I can’t believe you’d all go so far against Solomon.”

Dorothy: “W-Wait, how do you know about that?!”

Wesley: “Heh. You think anything gets past my eyes?”

Crowlie: “Wait, you used divination…?!”

Dorothy: “So you were peeping on us again!”

Wesley: “I figured I’d help you out if Solomon actually started dropping fireballs on you, but…”

Wesley: “…looks like I didn’t have to.”

Wesley chuckled, enjoying this.

Dorothy: “So, Heartmann hasn’t come to the greenhouse…”

Crowlie: “Strange. I’m certain I saw him going towards the greenhouse.”

Wesley: “You probably mistook a guard for him.”

Crowlie: “Huh? I did?”

Crowlie: “They look the same from afar. The guard in question was here ’til just a while ago.”

Crowlie: “I’ve been deceived!”

Dorothy: “I don’t think he was trying to deceive you, or anything…”

Wesley: “Scarecrow, if you’ve got bad eyes, put on some glasses.”

Crowlie: “Have I read too many books…?”

Dorothy: “So just where’d Heartmann go, anyway?”

Wesley: “Fine, fine… Look, I’ve got an idea of where he is. Come with me.”

11.8

Dorothy: “Wait, we’re back in the dining hall?!”

Leonardo: “Hey, why’d you come back?”

Crowlie: “How could you get it so wrong?!”

Wesley: “You didn’t tell me he wasn’t here!”

Oz: “What, you still haven’t found Heartmann?”

Dorothy: “Not yet…”

Wesley: “This…could be a case. A missing person case.”

Crowlie: “Let’s not escalate it just yet. Remember who made this more complicated in the first place.”

Wesley: “Yeah, the guy who mistook a guard for Heartmann.”

Crowlie: “Guh…!”

Leonardo: “Er, wait, isn’t he, like, in the greenhouse or something?”

Wesley: “We JUST came from there!”

Leonardo: “Then TELL me first!”

Oz: “Little miss, you’ll never find him looking around with these mooks. I’ll help your search.”

Leonardo: “Hey, don’t try to sneak her out for yourself!”

11.9

Crowlie: “That’s right. I’m the one working with her!”

Wesley: “Maybe when your eyes get better. Get outta here.”

Leonardo: “I’m helping her search!”

Oz: “No, I am!”

Crowlie: “I am!”

Wesley: “I am!”

(I know!)

Dorothy: “Wesley, can you help me?” (Intimacy +7)

Wesley: “Heh, you’ve made the right choice.”

Leonardo: “Wait, why’d you pick the Wizard of the West?!”

Crowlie: “You can’t trust him!”

Dorothy: “It has to be him.”

Crowlie: “What do you mean?”

Oz: “Oh, I get it…his divination, huh?”

Dorothy: “Right. He should be able to find out where Heartmann is if he uses it.”

Crowlie: “Ah, I see!”

Leonardo: “Good idea! All right, Wesley, get looking!”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around!”

Oz: “C’mon, this is a perfect opportunity to show off your talents. Man up.”

Dorothy: “Please, Wesley! Find Heartmann!”

11.10

Wesley: “Fine, fine. If you want me to look for him that badly, I will.”

Wesley pulled up his eye patch and started his divination.

Wesley: “Found him! Hah, piece of cake.”

Dorothy: “Where is he?”

Wesley: “On the balcony of this very palace.”

(He’s on the balcony!)

Dorothy: “Thanks, Wesley!”

Leonardo: “That sure is a handy spell…”

Crowlie: “There’s a book I’m looking for. Can you find it for me sometime?”

Oz: “The pigeons in my magic tricks tend to not come back. It’s pretty troubling.”

Wesley: “Who cares?! I can’t nobody’s lost and found!”

Dorothy: “I’ll go to the balcony! Wesley, I owe you one!”

Wesley: “Y-You really don’t need to owe me…”

Strangely, he looked a little…bashful.

Oz; “That look really doesn’t suit ya.”

Wesley: “Sh-Shut up…!”

I hurried off to the balcony.

However, I ran into Norton in the hallway.

Norton: “Ah, if it isn’t Dorothy.”

11.11

Dorothy: “Oh, Norton… Sorry about yesterday.”

Norton: “Oh, I don’t mind at all. Did things go well with Heartmann afterwards?”

Dorothy: “They did. We told each other how we felt.”

I answered with a smile, and one of Norton’s eyebrows twitched.

Norton: “I see. Glad to hear it.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Norton.”

Norton: “Seems my plan failed…”

Norton whispered something, but it was too quiet to hear.

Dorothy: “Wh-What…?”

Norton: “Ah, nothing. Nothing at all.”

(…?)

Norton: “Well, I’ll be taking my leave…”

As if nothing had happened, Norton walked off.

Dorothy: “Oh, I’ve got to hurry! Toto, let’s go!”

Toto: “Woof!”

I’d finally made it to the balcony, but Heartmann was nowhere to be found.

Dorothy: “Huh…? Where’d he go off to?”

Toto: *Whine*…

(Maybe he left while I was talking to Norton…)

Tired from spending so much time looking for him, I sat down on a nearby bench.

11.12

(Let me take a little rest…)

The gentle breeze and the warm sun felt so good I started to get sleepy.

Dorothy: “Oh yeah, I…didn’t really sleep last night…”

Toto: *Yawn*…

Toto let out a big yawn and started to nod off along with me.

(Think I’ll…shut my eyes a little…)

(Huh…? Did I doze off?)

My consciousness was still foggy, and I felt like I was half asleep.

(Feels like I’m leaning on someone as a sleep…)

I couldn’t really tell what was going on since I was still woozy.

(Did someone come to the balcony while I was sleeping? Who…?)

(Feels kind of hard, so this has to be Heartmann’s armor…) (Intimacy +7)

(Oh, so Heartmann came back…)

(Phew…I finally got to see him…)

Relief and happiness surged through me.

(I just want to stay like this as long as I can…)

Right after I thought that, though, I jolted back to my senses.

Dorothy: “Wait, Heartmann?!”

I looked up to see him right in front of me, smiling back.

Heartmann: “Woke up?”

(W-Wait, what’s he doing here?)

It looked like I’d fallen asleep on Heartmann’s shoulder at some point.

Dorothy: “Is it really you, Heartmann…?”

Heartmann: “Haha…who did you think I was?”

(It really IS him!)

However, I still couldn’t fully grasp the situation.

11.13

Heartmann: “Good morning, princess.”

With that, he gently kissed me.

Heartmann: “Did leaning on my armor hurt?”

Dorothy: “No, I’m all right, but…what brings you here?”

Heartmann: “It looked like we’d just missed each other.”

Heartmann: “When I went to the dining hall, they told me you were here, so I hurried back.”

(I knew we’d just missed each other.)

Heartmann: “You were fast asleep, I just couldn’t wake you up.”

Dorothy: “Aww, that’s so nice…”

He smiled happily at my comment.

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann…”

Heartmann: “Yes?”

Dorothy: “Could we stay like this a little more?”

I leaned on him again.

Heartmann: “I don’t mind, but…what about my armor? It doesn’t hurt?”

11.14

He said, worried.

Dorothy: “Then, how about we do this?”

Dorothy: “How about you put your head on my shoulder?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Er, like this?”

Heartmann put his head on my shoulder.

I rested my head on top of Heartmann’s.

Dorothy: “This way it won’t hurt.”

Heartmann: “Isn’t it hard to sleep like this?”

Heartmann smiled awkwardly. He didn’t seem displeased, however.

Dorothy: “I just want to cuddle, so this is totally fine.”

Heartmann: “Haha…I see, I see.”

Dorothy: “You know how long I was looking for you?”

Dorothy: “But now…I can finally be with you.”

Heartmann: “You sure do like to cuddle.”

Dorothy: “Well, I really like you, and I know you’ll oblige me.”

Heartmann: “Well, cuddle all you want, then.”

Dorothy: “Haha, you’re like my own knight.”

Heartmann: “That’s what this armor’s for. I’ve got to protect my princess.”

Dorothy: “Just being like this makes me so happy…”

Heartmann: “Me, too. It’s a small joy, but…this is what real happiness is about.”

Dorothy: “Sure is warm…”

Heartmann: “It really is…”

Time went on slowly as we enjoyed our pleasant cuddle in the sun.

Heartmann’s Favorite Activity

Dorothy: “Heartmann, do you have any special talents or anything?”

Dorothy: “Special talents? Well…I guess you could call cutting down trees a special talent.”

Dorothy: “Since you used to be a woodman?”

Heartmann: “Yep. It’s surprisingly difficult to cut down trees with an ax, actually.”

Heartmann: “Trees are alive too, so if you don’t give them a good cut, you won’t get good wood from them.”

Dorothy: “A good cut?”

Heartmann: “To give a good cut, you’ve got to look at the tree and listen to its voice.”

Heartmann: “You can’t actually hear it, but you have to feel it.”

Heartmann: “Come to think of it, I haven’t cut trees in a while…”

Dorothy: “Well, a king is busy, so of course you wouldn’t have time to cut trees.”

Heartmann: “My beloved ax is still hung up back in Winkies Castle.”

Dorothy: “Say, why did you start woodworking?”

Heartmann: “I liked the feel and warmth of trees, so I started making things with wood.”

Heartmann: “When I did, it was just so fun I’d gotten completed addicted. Heh…”

Dorothy: “You really like trees, huh? I think that’s very nice! It’s very you.”

Heartmann: “Thanks. It means a lot to hear you say that.”

Chapter 12: Short-lived Dream (13/13)

12.1

It was a calm afternoon the following day. I rustled my cup of cold tea with a smile.

Since learning about how Heartmann felt about me and deepening our bond, I’d been beside myself with joy.

And I was just about to have my 17th birthday in the dreamlike land of Oz.

Dorothy: “You know, Toto…I think I’ve grown up a little bit.”

Toto: “Arf?”

Dorothy: “Well, I’ve got someone I love and who loves me!”

Toto: *Yawn*

Toto let out yet another big, uninterested yawn.

Oz: “Ah, little miss. Having some tea time alone?”

Oz showed up.

Dorothy: “You too, Oz?”

Oz: “This palace has got really great tea. Kind of picked up the habit of afternoon tea time.”

Oz sat in the chair across the table from me.

Oz: “Did you run into Heartmann yesterday?

Dorothy: “Yeah, that’s to everyone’s help. We’re going to meet in the greenhouse in a little today, too.”

Oz: “The greenhouse?”

Dorothy: “He told me he’s been talking to Solomon about that tree he wants to plant in Winkies.”

Oz: “Ah, I see. Busy with his kingly duties, huh. So that’s why you’re drinking tea alone.”

Dorothy: “Well, I don’t want to interrupt his important business…”

Oz: “In that case, I’ll tell you something interesting.”

12.2

Dorothy: “Haha, I’d love to hear it.”

Oz: “Long ago, a man came to a small town. The town was poor, and the people barely ever smiled…”

Dorothy: “Sounds like a pretty unfortunate place.”

Oz pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket.

Oz: “The man then performed magic tricks. The people gasped in surprise, then smiled again.”

Oz pulled a small flower from the balled up handkerchief.

Oz: “Wanting to see people smile even more, the man started all sorts of things.”

Dorothy: “Like what?”

Oz: “He tilled the land, paved the roads, built lots of buildings, even a castle.”

Oz: “Eventually all the buildings formed into a large city. The people’s lives ad greatly improved, and no one could stop smiling.”

Dorothy: “Wait, is this…”

Oz: “Oh, and I forgot to mention. They say the man was really, really handsome.”

With that, Oz handed me the flower he conjured up.

Dorothy: “Haha…thank you. And I think I know what happens next.”

Oz: “Oh? Let’s hear it, then.”

Dorothy: “The man left the city to a scarecrow with brains and went back to his own hometown, didn’t he?”

Oz: “Precisely. Because he had a place to go home to.”

Oz gazed at me.

Oz: “I should probably talk to you about this now…”

12.3

Dorothy: “About what?”

(What does he want to talk about? Could it be…)

Dorothy: “Did you want to talk about Heartmann?” (Intimacy +7)

Oz: “Yeah, I do, but…”

He seemed a little hesitant to continue.

Oz: “Are you serious about him?”

Dorothy: “Of course. He’s my first love.”

Oz: “First love, huh… Yeah, those are special to women…”

Oz furrowed his eyebrows.

Dorothy: “What, are men different?”

Oz: “Not exactly, but…in a way, sort of. Ahaha…”

Oz strained out a smile, but his face quickly grew serious.

Oz leaned in closer and whispered.

Oz: “What are you going to do?”

Dorothy: “Er, what do you mean?”

Oz: “You know what I mean. I’m talking about after your birthday.”

Dorothy: “After my birthday?”

Oz: “Wait, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten.”

12.4

Oz: “Dorothy, don’t you have a place to go home to?”

(Huh…?)

Oz: “You’re going back to Kansas after your birthday, aren’t you?”

(Oh! Kansas!)

I’d completely forgotten about home.

(That’s right, my aunt and uncle are waiting for me back at home!)

Seeing the shock in my face, Oz let out an exasperated sigh.

Oz: “Looks like you went a bit love crazy and forgot, huh…”

Oz: “You’ve got to go back to your own world after your birthday, remember?”

(That’s right, I came to Oz to celebrate my 17th birthday…)

(…so when my birthday passes…)

Dorothy: “I’ll have to go back to Kansas…”

My previously shining surroundings were promptly covered by a great shadow.

(If I go back to Kansas, I won’t be able to be with Heartmann anymore…)

(Am I going to have to break up with him…?)

Oz; “Heartmann’s the King of the West. he can’t throw his people away to go back with you.”

(…!)

Oz: “I mean, it’s another story if you want to stay here, but…are you willing to make the sacrifice?”

Dorothy: “Sacrifice…?”

Oz: “The sacrifice of never seeing Kansas or its people again.”

12.5

Dorothy: “B-But…”

Oz: “Remember, you’re from two completely different worlds.”

Oz: “I know the two of you are in love. But listen…”

Oz: “…you can’t stay together forever.”

(What should I do…?!)

Seeing how shaken I was, Oz lowered his eyes.

Oz: “Sorry to rain on your parade, but…you’ve got to face reality.”

Oz: “Figure out whether you’re staying or going by your birthday.”

Oz quietly left.

Oz; “There’s not much time, but…think it over yourself. There’s nothing I can do to help.”

Leaving those words behind, Oz headed out of the dining hall.

(I won’t be able to be with Heartmann anymore… Oh, I can’t believe it…!)

(I hadn’t even given it a second thought! Oh, what am I going to do…?)

Thinking of it by myself, however, just made me feel more and more worried. I couldn’t come up with anything.

(What should I do…?)

(I’ll talk this over with Heartmann…) (Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “Toto, you’ll come with me, right?”

Toto: *Whine*…

Dorothy: I’m pretty worried, too, but…I can’t talk to Crowlie or Leonardo, so…”

Toto: “?”

Dorothy: “Well, if I go back to Kansas, I won’t be able to see them again, so I’m sure they’ll worry.”

Dorothy: “This is between Heartmann and me, so I think it’s best that I talk with him.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Thanks, Toto. Let’s go to the greenhouse.”

I headed to the greenhouse with Toto to find Heartmann.

12.6

Leonardo: “Hey, Dorothy! What’s the rush?”

Crowlie: “Is something wrong?”

On the way to the greenhouse, I ran into Crowlie and Leonardo.

Dorothy: “N-Nothing, really… I’m just on my way to see Heartmann.”

Leonardo: “Sheesh, you guys are real lovebirds, huh? Mind if I tag along?”

(Uh-oh, that’d be bad!)

Crowlie: “Leonardo, that’s uncalled for. Right, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: “Oh, uh, yeah, haha…”

Leonardo: “I’m just joking. I wouldn’t do something like that.”

Dorothy: “Well, uh… I’m in a hurry, so I’ll see you later?”

Leonardo: “Sure, head on!”

Crowlie: “Tell Heartmann we said hi!”

I dashed off.

(Phew…sorry, you two, but I can’t tell you about this yet…)

I hurried to the greenhouse to find Heartmann looking up at that tree from last time.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

Heartmann: “Hey, Dorothy. I just talked things over with Lord Solomon.”

Heartmann spoke, pleased.

Heartmann: “He’ll give me this tree’s seeds. This is really going to help out Winkies.”

He seemed to shine as he carried out his kingly duties.

(But now…it hurts to see that shine.)

12.7

(If he wasn’t king, he could’ve gone to Kansas with me…)

Heartmann tilted his head curiously, seeing my worried expression.

Heartmann: “What’s wrong?”

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann…”

When I tried to talk to him though, all sorts of feelings bubbled up, and I could barely speak.

Heartmann: “Did something happen?”

Dorothy: “Heartmann, you’re always going to be the King of Winkies, right…?”

Heartmann: “Haha, yeah, probably. It’s a different story if my people tell me to step down, though.”

(There’s no way they’d say that. Not when the people love him so much…)

Heartmann: “So, why do you ask?”

Dorothy: “Because it’s almost my birthday…”

Heartmann: “What…?”

Heartmann stared at me with surprised eyes.

Heartmann: “…”

Dorothy: “And when my birthday is over, I…”

I couldn’t continue.

At that, Heartmann gently touched my hair.

Heartmann: “Go back to Kansas.”

Dorothy: “What…?!”

12.8

Charisma Contest

Required Charisma: 30,000

I couldn’t believe my ears.

(What did he just…)

I looked at Heartmann in shock, but he smiled and nodded.

Heartmann: “You have a place to go home to, Dorothy. You should go back after your birthday.”

Those words send shockwaves through my heart.

Dorothy: “Why would you say that…?!”

Heartmann: “…”

Heartmann simply wore a sad smile.

Heartmann: “I’d noticed you’d have to go back…”

(Heartmann noticed it too?!)

Dorothy: “If I go back, we won’t be able to be together anymore!”

Heartmann: “…”

Dorothy: “And you’re just going to let that happen?!”

Heartmann: “I was prepared for this to happen.”

Heartmann looked strangely calm as he answered.

Dorothy: “What do you mean?”

Heartmann: “I knew that this day would come…”

12.9

Dorothy: “But, why…? Did someone tell you?”

(Who would tell him, though?)

Dorothy: “Did…did Norton tell you?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “How did you know?”

Dorothy: “Well, Solomon would probably just change the subject if you asked him…”

Dorothy: “And Crowlie and Leonardo don’t know, so it would have to be Norton.”

Heartmann: “Ah, true. And you’re right, Lord Norton told me.”

Dorothy: “But why did he?”

Heartmann: “I’d been worried, ever since you chose me to be your partner.”

Heartmann: “Worried if we’d be able to stay together even after your birthday…”

Heartmann: “Then I happened to run into Lord Norton, and…I asked him about it.”

[Flashback!]

Heartmann: “Lord Norton… Truth be told, there’s something I’m rather worried about…”

Norton: “Oh? What would that be?”

Heartmann: “It’s about…Dorothy.”

Norton: “Well, if it is an answer I am able to give, I will tell you whatever I can.”

Heartmann: “What will happen after her birthday?”

Norton: “She will have to return to Kansas, of course.”

Heartmann: “Return to Kansas…?!”

Norton: “Of course, she will not be forced to return.”

Heartmann: “Then, she’ll be able to remain in Oz, as well?”

12.10

Norton: “If she so wishes, she may.”

Norton: “However, after her birthday, the Rainbow Bridge that connects our two worlds will disappear.”

Heartmann: “Truly…?!”

Norton: “Truly.”

Norton: “And I’m afraid that even with Lord Solomon’s power, the bridge will not appear again.”

Heartmann: “You can’t be serious…!”

Learning the truth, I felt like my vision had gone pitch black.

Heartmann: “If that’s true, then what should I do…?”

Norton: “Personally, I would love for Dorothy to stay in Oz…”

Norton: “But do remember. The last time she was here, she desperately wished to return home.”

Norton: “And since you journeyed with her back then, I would imagine you know that more than anyone.”

Heartmann: “T-True…”

I knew that Dorothy loved Kansas.

Back when we all tried to get to the Emerald City with wishes in our hearts, hers was to return to Kansas.

(If Dorothy has a place to go home to, then of course she should go back…)

(If she ended up really falling in love here in Oz…)

(…she’ll have to leave that love behind. Painfully…!)

(I don’t want to put her through that…so I probably shouldn’t make our love grow any deeper than it is.)

Norton: “Though…I cannot imagine that you can simply stop being partners.”

Heartmann: “…why not?”

12.11

Norton: “Do you think the other candidates for her love would simply accept it?”

Heartmann: “!”

Norton: “No matter who she pairs up with, the end will be the same.”

Norton: “And besides, Heartmann, I can scarcely imagine you would want to see her with someone else.”

Norton said with a tiny smile at his lips.

Heartmann: “That…that may be true, but…”

Norton: “You should think deeply about what would be best for Dorothy.”

Heartmann: “Best for Dorothy…”

Her smile drifted through my mind.

(I don’t want to hurt her…I can’t make her sad, I just can’t…)

Norton: “I imagine you should keep this a secret from Crowlie and Leonardo.”

Heartmann: “A secret?”

Norton: “Because they, too, would be sad to learn of it.”

Heartmann: “…”

Crowlie and Leonardo’s faces appeared in my mind as well.

(My best friends…I can’t make them sad, either…)

Norton: “Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do.”

I could have sworn he wore a cold smile as he said that, but I had to be imagining it.

(I love Dorothy…)

(Argh, I can’t believe that would cause her to hurt so…!)

A wave of despair engulfed me.

[End Flashback!]

Dorothy: “Then, when you said you were hiding something…”

Heartmann: “It was this.”

Saying that, Heartmann put on a saddened smile.

12.12

(Is he forcing himself to smile so I won’t feel sad…?)

(Or is it for himself…?)

Dorothy: “So that’s why you were trying to distance yourself from me?”

Heartmann: “Because I knew you’d find out about this eventually, and be hit hard when you did…”

Dorothy: “Why didn’t you talk to me about it?”

Heartmann: “I was so happy when you said you loved me that I…felt like you were mine.”

Heartmann: “I wanted you to stay my girlfriend.”

I knew all too well that he loved me…

…so I couldn’t blame him anymore.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you have a place to go home to.”

Heartmann: “There are people waiting for you there.”

Heartmann: “I can’t take you away from them.”

His voice was so, so gentle.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

Heartmann: “I’ve got my duties as the King of Winkies, too.”

Heartmann: “After endless effort, Winkies is finally a land where people smile all the time.”

Heartmann: “I can’t throw them away…to go to Kansas with you.”

(And I can’t say I want Heartmann to come with me…)

Dorothy: “But I can’t believe we won’t see each other after my birthday…!”

Heartmann: “Even if we can’t see each other, my love for you will not change.”

12.13

Dorothy: “And I love you, Heartmann. That won’t change.”

Heartmann: “Yet…our fate will not change.”

Heartmann: “So…”

Dorothy: “So…?”

Heartmann: “I want to choose what I think is best for you.”

In his smiling eyes were hints of resignation and sadness.

Because of that gentle heart of his, he’d accepted fate for my sake.

But I…

(I can’t accept this, not yet… I don’t know what I should do…)

(If I go home, I won’t be able to come back to Oz…)

(And if I stay, I can’t go back to Kansas…)

(But even so, I just…I can’t make that decision.)

As Heartmann gazed into my eyes, I could see thin tears in his.

Heartmann: “…!”

He lowered his eyes, as if to hide them from me.

Heartmann: “I know you’re conflicted, but you can’t give up on Kansas.

His fingers on my hair slowly pulled away.

Heartmann: “So go back to Kansas.”

With that, Heartmann turned away and left the greenhouse.

I could neither call to him nor chase after him. All I could do was stand there, blank.

To Be Honest

Heartmann: “Say, this happened a while back…”

It all happened yesterday.

Heartmann: “Crowlie, Leonardo, have you seen Dorothy?”

Crowlie: “Heartmann! Where were you?!”

Leonardo: “Dorothy was looking for you!”

Heartmann: “Wait, really? Where’d she go?”

Leonardo: “Over that way… H-hey, wait!”

Heartmann: “Dorothy is looking for me! I’ve got to find her, fast!”

Heartmann: “But I can’t find her anywhere! This..this isn’t someone’s plot, is it?!”

Wesley: “If you’re looking for Dorothy, I know where she is.”

Heartmann: “Wesley…was it you who kidnapped Dorothy?!”

Wesley: “Wait, what?! Why would you think that?!”

Heartmann: “Give Dorothy back!”

Wesley: “Hey, quit it! Let go of me!”

Norton: “What is all this commotion?”

Heartmann: “Oh, Lord Norton! The Wizard of the West has captured Dorothy!”

Norton: “Dorothy? She went towards the balcony.”

Heartmann: “She did…?”

Wesley: “Tch… I was going to tell you too, but you had to go and get the wrong idea.”

Heartmann: “Sorry, Wesley.”

Wesley: “You don’t sound sorry at all! Come on, at least sound a bit guilty!”

Heartmann: “So when I dashed up to the balcony like there was no tomorrow, well, that’s when I found Dorothy sleeping on the bench.”

Chapter 13: True Love (12/12)

13.1

That night, as I worried alone, Leonardo and Crowlie came along.

Leonardo: “Dorothy? What’s the matter? You’re out here all alone.”

Crowlie: “You look like something awful happened.”

Dorothy: “Yeah, kind of…”

Leonardo: “Well, if you’ve got troubles, you can always talk to us about it.”

Crowlie: “That’s right. We’re friends.”

Worried about me, they sat in nearby chairs.

(It’ll just make them sad if I tell them about it…)

(But it would look really weird if I didn’t talk about anything…)

Crowlie: “What happened?”

Dorothy: “Well…just, hypothetically, what would you two do if you were never able to see each other again?”

Leonardo: “Huh. Never really thought about that before.”

Crowlie: “Actually, it’d probably be a load off my mind.”

Crowlie said with a bitter smile.

Leonardo: “Wait, what?! Is that what you think of our friendship?”

Crowlie: “Haha, I’m kidding, really. I’d be very, very sad.”

Leonardo: “True that…I mean, having you around feels like a fact of life.”

Crowlie: “Though since I live in the Emerald City and he lives in the grand old forest, it’s not like we’re always together.”

Crowlie: “But we can see each other whenever we want, really.”

Leonardo: “So really, there’s no worries. Heartmann’s the same way.”

13.2

Dorothy: “Yeah, I bet…”

(If you’re all in the same world, you can see each other, even if you’re far away…)

(But if you live in different worlds…)

Crowlie: “Now, that’s a strange question. Does it have something to do with your worries?”

Dorothy: “Well, not ex–”

Leonardo: “Don’t just hold it in all alone. Like, tomorrow’s your birthday, remember?”

(…!)

Crowlie: “He’s right. You shouldn’t turn 17 holding in your troubles like that.”

Leonardo: “Yeah! Deal with your 16 year old worries while you’re still 16.”

(Oh, what should I do…? Should I talk to them about it…?)

(I don’t want to sadden them, but…I don’t know what to say. I’ll have to talk to them.(Intimacy +7)

Dorothy: “This might just make you really sad, but…do you still want to hear it?”

Crowlie: “It’ll make us sad…?”

Leonardo: “Now that doesn’t sound too pleasant…”

Crowlie and Leonardo exchanged looks.

Crowlie: “But we can’t just leave you like this.”

Leonardo: “Seriously. Now we’ve GOT to hear it.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, allow me to say this now.”

Dorothy: “What?”

Crowlie: “If we three put our heads together, there’s nothing we can’t solve.”

Leonardo: “Seriously. So believe in us and tell us what’s up!”

Dorothy: “Thanks, you two.”

13.3

Dorothy: “When my birthday’s over tomorrow, I might have to go back to Kansas.”

Leonardo: “I knew that… Lord Solomon said he’d let you go back, safe and sound.”

Crowlie: “I’ve heard the same. But you can just come back to the Land of Oz, right?”

Leonardo: “I’m thinking of visiting with everyone, too.”

(Looks like they don’t know about the Rainbow Bridge…)

Dorothy: “After my birthday, the Rainbow Bridge will disappear…”

Crowlie: “What?! It will…?!”

Leonardo: “Wait, what do you mean?! Nobody told me that!”

Dorothy: “After it disappears, the Rainbow Bridge won’t appear ever again…”

Crowlie: “Who said that?”

Dorothy: “Heartmann said he heard it from Norton.”

Leonardo: “Lord Norton said that?!”

Dorothy: “So if I go back to Kansas, I won’t be able to see anyone again.”

Crowlie: “It would…appear so…”

Leonardo: “That’s awful! I don’t want Dorothy to disappear on us forever!”

Dorothy: “I don’t want to, either…”

Leonardo: “Isn’t there anything we can do? A way to connect here and there?”

Dorothy: “I heard that not even Solomon could do anything…”

Crowlie: “That’s awful…!”

Leonardo: “What’s going on here…?!”

13.4

Leonardo miserably slammed the table.

Leonardo: “Wait, then…what’s going to happen with you and Heartmann, Dorothy?”

Crowlie: “If Dorothy goes back, they’ll never see each other again…”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

Leonardo: “Seriously?! But, come on, they’re in love!”

Crowlie: “…”

Leonardo: “That’s crazy! Then why were they put together in the first place…? To tear ’em apart?!”

Crowlie: “So Heartmann knew that, since he heard it from Lord Solomon, right?”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

Crowlie: “So that’s why he tried to distance himself from you, even if he had to lie…”

Leonardo: “What’re you talking about?”

Crowlie: “He wanted to send Dorothy back to Kansas with as little heartache as he could.”

Leonardo: “Oh, so that’s… Yeah. Sounds like something a nice guy like Heartmann would come up with.”

Crowlie: “So what did Heartmann say?”

Leonardo: “You talked with him, right?”

Dorothy: “He told me that I’ve got a place to go back to. To go back to Kansas…”

Crowlie: “…?!”

Leonardo: “He did?! What the heck is he thinking?!”

Dorothy: “Wait! Calm down, Leonardo…!”

Leonardo: “I can’t keep calm! How could I? If he loves you, he’s got to stop you from going!”

13.5

Dorothy: “It’s because he knows how much I love Kansas…”

Leonardo: “Guh…then, he should just go with you back to Kansas!”

Crowlie: “That can’t happen… Heartmann is the king of Winkies, remember?”

Leonardo: “So what?”

Crowlie: “Leonardo, do you think you can abandon everyone in the forest to go to Kansas?”

Leonardo: “W-Well…”

Crowlie: “Heartmann can’t abandon his people to go with her, either. He’s got responsibilities as king.”

Leonardo: “Dorothy, are you…all right with this?”

Dorothy: “I don’t know…if I go back to Kansas, I won’t be able to see Heartmann again…”

Dorothy: “And if I stay in Oz, I won’t be able to go back to Kansas ever again…”

Leonardo: “Isn’t there something we can do…?!”

Crowlie: “This, I’m afraid, we can do nothing about…”

(He’s right. There’s nothing to be done…)

A heavy air pressed down on us.

Leonardo: “I’m not having it! I don’t want Dorothy to go back to Kansas!”

(Leonardo…!)

Crowlie: “I don’t want her to go back, either!”

(Crowlie…!)

The two of them declared with utterly serious expressions.

13.6

I felt their desires so profoundly that I nearly felt like I could stay in Oz.

(If Heartmann asked me to stay like that, I probably would have without a second thought.)

I thought, disappointed.

Dorothy: “I wish that Heartmann…asked me to stay, too.”

The two gasped at my whisper.

Leonardo: “Of course he doesn’t want you to go!”

Crowlie: “Because he’s actually pretty stubborn. He has to be holding it in. I guarantee it.”

Leonardo: “Go and find out! Find out how he feels!”

(After my birthday tomorrow, I’ll probably end up going home…)

(I at least want to find out how he really feels…(Intimacy +7)

(And more than anything, I want to spend the time I have left with him!)

Dorothy: “All right, I’ll go see Heartmann and find out how he really feels!”

Leonardo: “Good idea. You should be able to figure it out if you see him.”

Crowlie: “Then you can decide whether to stay or go after that.”

Dorothy: “You’re right.”

13.7

Crowlie: “All right, hurry. There’s no time left.”

Dorothy: “Thanks!”

I hurried off to Heartmann’s room.

(I came all the way to Heartmann’s door, but…what should I do…?)

My heart was beating nervously.

(No, I’ve got to find out how he feels!)

After taking a deep breath, I knocked on his door.

Heartmann: “Yes? Who is it?”

Dorothy: “Um, it’s me…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy?! Hold on a minute, I’m opening up.”

The door opened and out came Heartmann, looking surprised.

Heartmann: “What brings you here at this hour…?”

Dorothy: “There’s something I really wanted to talk to you about… Can I come in?”

Heartmann: “Well, sure…come on in.”

Though initially surprised, Heartmann let me into his room with his usual smile.

(This is the first time I’ve been in his room…)

For that matter, it was my first time in a man’s room, too.

(Pretty nervous in here…)

It was a single room, just like mine, but it felt a lot calmer.

13.8

Heartmann: “Hm? Where’s Toto?”

Dorothy: “Oh, he’s sleeping in my room.”

Heartmann: “So that’s why you’re here alone, then. So, what happened?”

He peered into my face with that gentle smile of his, shaking my heart.”

(He’s telling me to go home, for my sake…)

(Even if I don’t ask how he feels and force it out…he’ll probably tell me if we’re together.)

(Though the time we have left together’s a little short…)

Dorothy: “I wanted to spend a little bit more time with you before my birthday tomorrow…”

Heartmann: “Oh… True. It’ll be your birthday once the sun’s up.”

Heartmann looked out the window. There was still some time until dawn.

He looked back at me and nodded with a smile.

Heartmann: “Sure. Let’s spend some time together.”

Dorothy: “Thank you.”

Heartmann: “Haha…I must say, though, I’m rather surprised you came to my room.”

Dorothy: “Well…”

Heartmann: “You’re surprisingly bold sometimes.”

Dorothy: “Don’t guys like that?”

Heartmann: “Oh, it’s not that at all. I really like seeing you acting like that.”

Dorothy: “Haha. Glad to hear it.”

Heartmann: “Oh, that’s right… Tomorrow’s your birthday. It’s a little early, but how about I give you a present?”

Dorothy: “A present?”

Heartmann: “Though, I don’t have anything prepared, so…how about this?”

Heartmann: “I’ll do whatever you want me to do tonight.”

13.9

Dorothy: “R-Really?”

Heartmann: “Really. So, what would you like?”

(I think that it’ll just hurt us both to keep talking like this…)

(In that case, I should probably make a memory we’ll never forget.)

Dorothy: “I’d like to sleep together, then.” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “H-Huh…?!”

Dorothy: “No? Even though you said you’d do whatever I wanted?”

Heartmann: “Well, I said that, but…you know what it means to sleep together with a man, right?”

Dorothy: “Of course I know. I’m almost 17!”

13.10

Heartmann: “…All right. If that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get.”

Dorothy: “Thanks.”

(I feel kinda…nervous…)

Heartmann: “Those clothes look pretty hard to sleep in.”

(Oh, I didn’t bring anything to sleep in…)

Heartmann: “You can wear anything in the closet.”

Dorothy: “Thanks. What about your armor, Heartmann?”

Heartmann: “I’ll take it off, of course. It’s not like I sleep in my armor.”

With that, Heartmann headed for the room next door.

Heartmann: “Is this the first time you’ll see me without my armor?”

Dorothy: “Yeah, it is.”

Heartmann: “Haha… Well, look forward to it.”

Heartmann went into the next room and closed the door.

(Ahhh! I’m really going to sleep in the same bed as Heartmann!)

This was what I wanted, but my heartbeat sped up like mad.

(Oh, that’s right, I’ve got to change!)

(Uh, what should I wear…?)

13.11

Love Choice

Premium: His Shirt (White) Charm Level:450 Price: 700 Coins

Normal: Rough Pajamas (White) Charm Level: 250 Price: 300 Coins/24000 Spinels

(This, maybe…?)

So I’d changed, but thinking that I was going to sleep with him kept me from keeping calm.

That’s when he came back from the other room.

Heartmann: “All right, I’m back.”

Heartmann with his armor off was far more muscular than I’d imagined.

Yet, he was still very slender.

(Wow, he looks…great!)

I couldn’t keep my eyes off the fresh new sight.

Heartmann: “Er…ah…”

(Huh…?)

Heartmann went a little red and turned his face away, but stole glances at me immediately after.

Dorothy: “Is something the matter?”

Heartmann: “No, it’s just…I didn’t think you’d wear that…”

Dorothy: “Oh, uh…does it look funny?”

Heartmann: “No, it’s not that, just…”

Dorothy: “Just…?”

Heartmann: “It makes me kind of…nervous…”

Dorothy: “H-Huh…”

(Ohhh… From a guy’s point of view, this kind of nightwear might seem kind of…forward. Daring.)

Heartmann: “It looks really good on you. I don’t want anyone else to see it, though.”

(Well, if he’s complimenting me that much, this was the right choice.)

Heartmann: “All right, come on over.”

Heartmann gently beckoned me to the bed.

Dorothy: “O-Okay…”

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 13 CG 1

I got into bed, blushing, and laid down next to him.

Heartmann: “Comfortable?”

Dorothy: “Yeah…”

(I was expecting a guy’s body to be more stiff, but…huh.)

He wasn’t wearing his armor, so I felt his warmth.

(Gah, my heart’s going wild…!)

Heartmann: “I know, this might be better.”

He let me put my head on his arm.

(Uh-oh…if he’s this close, he’s definitely going to hear my heart beating!)

Heartmann gently touched my hair.

(…!)

That was all it took to get me nervous.

Heartmann: “Is there anything you want me to do?”

(I want him to…kiss me, but if I do that, it’ll probably make me miss him even more…)

Dorothy: “Hold me…”

Heartmann: “Sure.”

He gently hugged me.

(He’s so gentle, so warm…)

(He feels so much warmer than he does when he’s wearing his armor…)

Heartmann: “I’ve been waiting so long for a day like this to come…”

Heartmann whispered in my ear.

Heartmann: “Back when we were traveling together, after you went back to Kansas, I realized…”

Heartmann: “…that to me, you were my princess.”

Dorothy: “A princess? Me?”

(Come to think of it, he did sometimes call me a princess…)

Heartmann: “I thought that we were…were fated to be…”

Heartmann: “…and you were the woman I should give all of my love to.”

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 13 CG 2

Dorothy: “Haha…that kind of brings me back.”

Heartmann: “I’d always wanted to see you again, so I kept on thinking about you.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

Heartmann: “Of course. So when I became a human and went to see you, I was just beside myself.”

Dorothy: “Did it let you down when you met the real thing?”

Heartmann: “Not at all. I was surprised at how much more beautiful you were than I’d expected.”

Dorothy: “Haha, that’s a relief to hear.”

Heartmann: “You’re so bright to look at, even now. I think you’ll always be that way.”

He held me tighter.

Heartmann: “So the fact that I can hold you like this, Dorothy, makes me feel like I’m in some sort of blissful dream.”

Dorothy: “I feel the same way, Heartmann. I’m so happy…”

I could feel his heartbeat, synchronizing with mine.

It had to be proof of our loves being on the same page.

Heartmann: “I feel like no matter how much I tell you I love you, I can’t fully express how I feel…”

Dorothy: “And I feel the same way. It’s probably because we love each other too much…”

Heartmann: “So, we feel that strongly… Human love sure is amazing.”

(It really is. Love like this…it can probably change the world…)

Heartmann’s fingers softly touched my cheeks.

Heartmann: “Your cheeks are really soft. I can’t tell when I’m wearing armor…”

Dorothy: “Heartmann, your fingers are really warm…and so gentle. They feel great…”

His voice and breathing were so comforting that by the time I noticed, my tension was gone.

Heartmann: “I’m really glad I was able to turn into a human. Couldn’t do this if I was made of tin.”

Dorothy: “Even if you’re made of tin, Heartmann, you’re still you.”

Heartmann: “You said that before, too.”

Dorothy: “This warmth you’ve got, Heartmann…it’s the warmth of your gentle heart.”

Dorothy: “Even humans are cold if they’ve got no heart.”

Heartmann: “Then you’ve got a gentle heart too, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Me?”

Heartmann: “I can feel your warmth now, too.”

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

His comforting voice and gentle warmth made me feel sleepier and sleepier.

Dorothy: “Are you happy right now?”

Heartmann: “Very much so. You, Dorothy?”

Dorothy: I”m really happy.”

(Because you love me, and I love you…)

(I love you, Heartmann…and I always will.)

13.12

As I dozed off, I heard Heartmann whisper.

Heartmann: “Haha..are you sleepy, princess?”

Heartmann peered into my face.

Dorothy: “A little bit…since staying like this feels really nice.”

Heartmann: “You don’t need to push yourself. You can sleep if you want.”

I really was sleeping, but I still wanted to enjoy this sweet mood.

Dorothy: “I feel like it’d be a bit of a waste to fall asleep…”

Heartmann: “Don’t worry, you can sleep. I’ll be right here next to you the whole time.”

Dorothy: “Really?”

Heartmann: “I promise.”

Dorothy: “Thank you, Heartmann.”

My eyelids went up and down, up and down.

As I nodded of in bliss, Heartmann’s comforting voice continued.

Heartmann: “I will love you and you alone as long as I live…”

He gently kissed my forehead.

(Am I dreaming already…?)

The syrupy pleasure in my mind made it hard to tell dream from reality.

Then I drifted on off into blissful slumber.

Unexpected Side of Heartmann

Oz: “Leonardo: the card you drew is the Ace of Hearts.”

Leonardo: “Whoa, you guessed right!”

Heartmann: “Nicely done, Great Oz! How did you know?”

Crowlie: “Wow…! I have no idea how you did that!”

Oz; “Hahaha! Come on, lay on the praise some more!”

Wesley: “Tch…you really going to get all excited over that? It was just a trick. It wasn’t magic.”

Leonardo: “Really?! Well, if it isn’t magic, then maybe I can do it, too!”

Heartmann: “True, Leonardo’s right.”

Crowlie: “Oz, please teach us that trick!”

Oz: “Sure, just for you guys.”

Oz: “So, got it memorized? Go ahead, give it a shot.”

Leonardo: “Aahh! I dropped the card!”

Wesley: “Haha! What a clumsy lion!”

Crowlie: “Er…this deck of cards is red even numbers, so…”

Oz: “Tch. Typical. Your smarts are all book and no street. Can’t you do this more subtly? Your trick’s obvious for all t’see…”

Heartmann: “All right, here we go… Great Oz, please draw a card.”

Oz: “All right. What did I draw?”

Heartmann: “The Queen of Spades.”

Oz: “You got it! You’re pretty skillful.”

Heartmann: “Oh, this was simple enough, Heh heh…”

Oz: “So, how about joining with me and becoming a magician?”

Heartmann: “I’m afraid I can’t abdicate my royal duties to become a performer.”

Oz: “Heh, that abdication’s exactly what I chose.”

Chapter 14: My Big Day (13/13)

14.1

I woke up, my consciousness hazy.

(Mmm… Oh, that’s right, I…fell asleep…)

When I opened my eyes, rays of sunlight were already peeking in from the window.

(Morning already…?)

I heard, faintly, the sound of metal rubbing against metal.

(I hear armor…)

A delightful sound I’d grown accustomed to hearing.

I could see Heartmann’s frame in my drowsy line of vision.

Dorothy: “Heartmann…”

Already in his armor, Heartmann looked at me and smiled.

Heartmann: “Good morning, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “Hey. It’s morning already?”

Heartmann: “Yeah. Happy birthday.”

With that, Heartmann gently touched my hair.

(Oh…my birthday, huh… So now I’m 17…)

Dorothy: “Heartmann, do you always wake up early?”

I asked him without getting out of bed.

Heartmann: “Today’s special.”

Dorothy: “Why?”

14.2

Heartmann: “Because of you, Dorothy.”

(Because of me? D-Did I do something while I was sleeping?)

Heartmann: “You probably don’t remember…”

Heartmann peered into my face with a devilish grin.

(Wait, what did i do…?)

Dorothy: “Was I…talking in my sleep?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Yeah, that’s what woke me up.”

(R-Really? Oh, how embarrassing…I hope I didn’t say anything weird.)

Dorothy: “Er…what did I say?”

Heartmann: “You were calling my name. Over and over.”

(Huh? Heartmann’s name?)

Dorothy: “Oh, sorry…”

Heartmann: “Haha, it’s nothing to apologize for. I was really happy.”

Dorothy: “Why?”

Heartmann: “Well, you were thinking of me even in your sleep. It really put a smile on my face.”

Heartmann: “There’s nothing that’d make me happier.”

Heartmann: “So how long does the princess plan on sleeping?”

Dorothy: “I want to lie down for a little longer.”

Heartmann: “Why?”

14.3

Dorothy: “I feel like if I get up, time will speed up…”

This was probably the last day I’d get to be in Oz.

I barely had any time left.

Heartmann: “Are you going to spend your last day in bed?”

Dorothy: “W-Well…”

Heartmann: “I think that’d be a bit of a waste. I mean, because it’s your last day, I want you to enjoy yourself.”

Dorothy: “Enjoy myself?”

Heartmann: “Because I want you to go home with some fun memories.”

(Heartmann’s right. I don’t want my last day to end sadly…)

(So I’ll spend today with a smile!)

(But since it’s just the two of us right now…I think I’ll have a little fun with him.)

Dorothy: “Hey, Heartmann…there’s something I want you to do.”

Heartmann: “Oh? What’s that?”

Dorothy: “Could you….”

Dorothy: “…kiss me?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “You want me to kiss you?”

Dorothy: “I think that if you do, I’ll be able to get out of bed.”

Heartmann: “Haha…that’s the first I’ve heard something like that. So, where should I kiss you?”

Dorothy: “Where you want to, Heartmann.”

I nervously let out my answer, and Heartmann drew his face closer to mine.

Heartmann: “Then how about right here…”

Right when I thought our lips would touch, he slipped his face up and kissed my forehead.

14.4

The soft sensation of his lips on my forehead wrapped me in a mix of joy and embarrassment.

(I’m a little disappointed he didn’t go for my lips, but…sweet little mornings like this are nice, too!)

Heartmann: “Was that sufficient to get you out of bed, princess?”

Dorothy: “Haha…sure, I’ll get up.”

I pulled myself up and slipped out of bed.

(Huh? Something seems different from usual…)

That’s when I remembered that whenever I got out of bed, Toto would rub against my legs.

Dorothy: “Ah! I forgot Toto!”

Heartmann: “He’s in your room, right?”

Dorothy: “Yeah! And he must be so lonely!”

Heartmann: “True. He’s been with you the whole time since you got into Oz.”

Heartmann: “You should probably hurry and go get him.”

Dorothy: “I will! Heartmann, come with?”

When I tried to hurry out of the room, Heartmann called me to stop.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you’re going out dressed like that?”

Dorothy: “Huh…?”

I was still wearing Heartmann’s big shirt.

Dorothy: “I-I’ve got to change!”

14.5

Heartmann: I’ll be waiting outside.”

With that, Heartmann headed out of the room first.

I hurriedly started changing.

Toto: “Huff!”

I’d changed and gone back to my room with Heartmann to find Toto in a rather sour mood.

Dorothy: “I’m sorry, Toto! I’ll give you something really nice to eat later, so forgive me?

Heartmann: “Today’s Dorothy’s birthday party, so there’s going to be lots of great food.”

Toto: “Woof!”

Toto quickly sank bank into a good mood.

Crowlie: “Good morning, Dorothy!”

That’s when Crowlie showed up.

Dorothy: “Oh, Crowlie, good morning!”

Heartmann: “Good morning. Woke up early too, huh?”

Crowlie: “You’re with Heartmann?”

Crowlie looked a little surprised.

Heartmann: “Is it strange that I”m with Dorothy?”

Crowlie: “No, but…I heard it all from Dorothy, so…”

Heartmann: “Oh, about not being able to see Dorothy if she goes back… Thanks for your concern, Crowlie.”

Dorothy: “Today’s my last day, so I’ve decided to enjoy it.”

Crowlie: “Oh…understood. Oh, take this!”

Crowlie held out a beautiful flower.

14.6

Crowlie: “Happy birthday.”

Dorothy: “It’s so beautiful! Thanks!”

And that’s when Leonardo came running.

Leonardo: “Happy birthday! Dorothy, I love you!”

Leonardo held out a large bouquet in both hands.

Heartmann: “Whoa! Where’d you get all these flowers…?!”

Crowlie: “Just how many vases is she going to need…?”

Leonardo: “Wait, what’re you guys doing here?!”

Surprised at Heartmann and Crowlie’s presence, Leonardo lost balance.

Leonardo: “Whoa, whoa…ahhh!”

He dramatically fell over, sending all the flowers he’d brought throughout the room.

Leonardo: “Ouch…”

Dorothy: “Leonardo, are…are you all right…?”

Heartmann: “There are flowers all over the room…”

Leonardo: “Aww, my flowers…”

Crwolie: It won’t be easy cleaning all this up…”

Leonardo: “I really didn’t expect you two to be here…sorry.”

Oz: “Whoa, why’re there flowers everywhere?!”

Oz came around next, who took one look at the mass of flowers and gasped in shock.

14.7

Dorothy: “Oh, Oz! Don’t mind the flowers, ahahaha….”

Heartmann: “Have you brought a present as well, Oz?”

Heartmann asked, seeing the flower Oz had in his hand.

Oz: “I headed to the flower garden, thinking I’d get Dorothy a present, but all the flowers were gone…except this one.”

Crowlie: “All of the flowers were…gone…?”

Everyone looked at Leonardo.

Leonardo: “Wh-Why’re you all looking at me…?”

Heartmann: “Did you pick all the flowers?!”

Oz: “It was YOU?”

Leonardo: “They weren’t even enough to express how deeply I feel for Dorothy!”

Crowlie: “You can’t be serious!”

Oz; “Solomon’s going to have a field day with you!”

Leonardo: “But, come on…”

Dorothy: “I appreciate the gesture. I’ll go apologize with you later.”

Leonardo: “Really? Oh, you’re so nice Dorothy!”

Wesley: “It’s an emergency!”

Wesley came running in a panic.

Wesley: “The garden’s turned into ta total wasteland! Some kind of unnatural disaster’s raging through the place!”

Heartmann: “Er, actually…”

14.8

Oz: “Lions are pretty natural.”

Leonardo: “Er, sorry, ahaha…”

Wesley: “Huh…?”

Seeing the room buried in flowers, Wesley stared open-mouthed.

Dorothy: “Did you go to pick a flower for me too, Wesley?”

Crowlie: “As you can see, she’s got quite an abundance of them.”

Wesley: “R-Ridiculous…why would I go flower picking?”

Dorothy: “Thanks for thinking of me, Wesley.”

Wesley: “I told you you’re wrong!”

Leonardo: “Come on, be honest.”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around! And don’t ruin the garden while you’re at it!”

Leonardo: “Gee, I’m so very super impossibly sorry!”

Wesley: “You call that an apology?!”

Dorothy: “Come on, guys, don’t fight. It’s my birthday.”

Heartmann: “So what are we going to do with all of these flowers? They’ll end up withering if we leave them here.”

Oz: “Wesley, this is a job for you. Can’t you do something with your magic?”

Wesley: “Tch. But only because it’s a special day today!”

Wesley waved his hands like a conductor, causing the mass of flowers to disappear, leaving only a few in the vase atop my table.

Wesley: “That to your liking?”

Dorothy: “Thanks, Wesley! That was a wonderful present!”

14.9

Wesley: “Don’t sweat it, it wasn’t that big a deal…”

Wesley looked away, his face a little red.

Heartmann: “Looks like the gang’s all here. So, what’ll we do now?”

Dorothy: “Since we’re all here, I kind of want us all to do something.”

Dorothy: “I know, how about a tea party?” (Intimacy +7)

Heartmann: “Come to think of it, we’ve never all gotten together to have tea.”

Oz; “Don’t we all get together to have our meals every day?”

Crowlie: “Well, Lords Solomon and Norton are always around during meal time.”

Leonardo: “So, Dorothy and the romantic candidates, huh…sounds nice. I’m for it!”

Dorothy: “I want to see your magic tricks too, Oz.”

Oz: “Now that’s what I like to hear! I’ll show you some of my best tricks, then.”

Heartmann: “The Wizard of the West will join us too, right?”

Wesley: “Not too interesting, but…sure, why not.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

Dorothy: “Then it’s settled!”

Crowlie: “Where’ll we have the party?”

Heartmann: “How about the dining hall? There’s no reason to get all fancy about it.”

Dorothy: “True. The place isn’t as important as having everyone together.”

Oz; “That’s pretty mature to say, little miss.”

Dorothy: “Haha… Well, I’m 17 now.”

14.10

Leonardo: “Speaking of which…Wizard of the West, how old are you?”

Wesley: “Don’t ask my age!”

Leonardo: “Why not?!”

Dorothy: “Is it a secret?”

Crowlie: “A man of unknown age…suspicious. Really suspicious.”

Heartmann: “Let’s just hear about that at the tea party.”

Wesley: “Could we just drop it and go to the dining hall already?!”

Everyone headed to the dining hall together.

(I think everyone’s just being nice to me…)

(And since I’ve only got a little bit of time left, I’ve got to decide what I’m going to do myself.)

(It’s my life, after all…!)

Heartmann: “Let’s go, Dorothy.”

Dorothy: “All right! Come along,Toto.”

Toto: “Woof!”

With that, everyone enjoyed our tea party greatly.

Time marched on, bringing night upon us at last.

My fated birthday party was finally about to begin.

Norton: “Well, everyone has assembled.”

Solomon: “Dorothy, you’re 17 today. Happy birthday.”

Solomon smiled as he congratulated me.

Dorothy: “Thanks, Solomon.”

Solomon: “Allow me to give you a small birthday present.”

Dorothy: “R-Really?”

Solomon: “You can choose any dress you’d like from the wardrobe.”

Dorothy: “Oh, thank you!”

14.11

Heartmann: “That’s great, Dorothy!”

Norton: “Lord Solomon, it’s about time…”

Solomon: “That’s right. Everyone, do listen!”

Everyone turned their eyes to Solomon.

Solomon: “It’s about time for the party. Everyone, do head to the dance hall.”

Heartmann: “So, it’s finally time…!”

Solomon: “Dorothy, could you change into your dress?”

Dorothy: “All right.”

Crowlie: “I’m looking forward to seeing you in your dress.”

Leonardo: “Pick one that’ll make you really beautiful. We’re looking forward to it!”

Heartmann: “Well, we’ll be waiting in the dance hall.”

Norton: “Let us be off to the wardrobe.”

With Toto at my side, I headed for the wardrobe.

Dorothy: “Wow, look at this place!”

Toto: “Woof!”

I went into the wardrobe to see all sorts of dresses hunt up, completely different from last time.

Dorothy: “There are so many beautiful dresses! Oh, I don’t know which to pick!”

Maid: “I’ve heard that Lord Heartmann is rather fond of ladylike, modest dresses.”

Dorothy: “A ladylike, modest dress, huh? Hm, which should I pick…”

14.12

Love Choice

Premium: Queen’s Dress (Shining Gold) Charm Level: 500 Price 900 Coins

Normal: Rode Dress (Pure White) Charm Level: 300 Price: 490  Coins/28000 Spinels

Changed into my dress, I headed for the dance hall.

(It’s finally time for my birthday party, huh. These are my last moments here, so I’ve got to smile!)

Dorothy: “Let’s go, Toto.”

Toto: “Woof!”

I took a deep breath in front of the dance hall, then opened the door.

Dorothy: “Here I am, everyone.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, that’s a wonderful dress! It looks amazing on you!”

Dorothy: “Oh, thank you.”

Crowlie: “Dorothy, take a look at how many people are here for the party!”

Leonardo: “Isn’t this a great view! I’m pretty surprised, myself!”

There were far more people in the dance hall than there were for the ball.

Dorothy: “Wow!”

Oz: “They’ve come from all over the country, I hear.”

Wesley: “Hah! Guess they had nothing better to do.”

Fanfare sounded through the room. Solomon floated into the air, and all eyes went on him.

Solomon: “Thank you for gathering here today to celebrate Dorothy’s birthday.”

Solomon: “Today, Dorothy turned 17. Happy birthday, Dorothy!”

Leonardo: “Happy birthday!”

Crowlie: “Happy birthday!”

Heartmann: “Happy birthday, Dorothy!”

Everyone all wished me happy birthday at once.

Dorothy: “Thank you, everyone! Thank you, land of Oz!”

At my thanks, the hall erupted in cheers.

Solomon: “Let the party begin!”

The band began to play, and the guests all began to dance.

Crowlie: “Dorothy, would you dance with me?”

Crowlie took a step forward and held out his hand.

Leonardo: “Hold on! You’ll dance with me this time, won’t you?”

Leonardo also stepped forward and offered up his hand.

Oz: “Out of the way, you two. Dorothy, would you dance with me?”

Wesley: “I wouldn’t mind dancing with you tonight!”

Dorothy: “You guys…”

I was full of gratitude, but I didn’t take anyone’s hand.

(Because I decided from the start who I would dance with…)

However, I couldn’t see him.

He was hidden behind everyone.

(Why won’t he ask me?)

I started to worry.

(Is it just…painful for him to break up with me?)

But right then.

Heartmann: “Mind clearing the way, guys?”

Everyone stepped to the left and right, allowing Heartmann to step forward.

(Heartmann…!)

The moment I saw him, my worries faded away.

Heartmann: “May I have this dance?”

With that, Heartmann held out his hand.

Dorothy: “There’s no one else I would rather dance with.”

I joyfully took his hand.

Leonardo: “Knew this would happen…”

Crowlie: “Hah, I figured.”

Though they sounded disappointed, Crowlie and Leonardo looked positively relieved.

Oz: “Well, if it’s come to this…Wesley? Want to dance?”

Wesley: “Don’t ask me that!”

I quietly whispered to Heartmann.

Dorothy: “I was a little worried you wouldn’t dance with me.”

Heartmann: “I felt like teasing you a little.”

He said with a light chuckle.

Heartmann: “Now…”

With Heartmann gently leading, we started to dance.

Dorothy: “Just like back at the ball.”

Heartmann: “It only happened a few days ago, but it feels so nostalgically far off.”

Smiling gently all the way, Heartmann led my steps.

Heartmann: “You remember the steps?”

Dorothy: “Haha…of course I do.”

Heartmann: “It’s because I’m a good teacher, isn’t it?”

Dorothy: “I’ll let you think that, sure.”

Heartmann: “Then we’ve got to show the fruits of our labor to everyone.”

We danced gracefully, swaying to the center of the hall.

All the guests’ eyes fell to us.

Dorothy: “Everyone’s looking at us.”

Heartmann: “Of course. It’s because you’re so beautiful.”

He led my steps with a gentle smile.

Heartmann: “Feeling nervous with all those eyes on you?”

Dorothy: “Of course not. Not when I’m gazing in your eyes like this…”

We gazed into each other’s eyes as we danced, not paying anyone any mind.

(We’ve really been through a lot…all unforgettable memories.)

Dorothy: “These past few days really went by quickly.”

Heartmann: “They sure did.”

Dorothy: “I’m really glad I picked you to be my partner…and that we fell in love like this.”

Heartmann: “I’m really glad we fell in love, too.”

We gazed at each other, smiling.

(He doesn’t know my answer yet…)

(He’s got to be nervous, but he’s still smiling at me like this…)

How painful could that be…?

(And that’s going to end soon…)

The moment of truth was already right in front of me.

(I just wish time would stop like this…)

Yet, my dreamlike time was ending, one second at a time.

Right when the music was about to stop, bringing our dance to an end…

[Spoiler Warning!] Chapter 14 CG

Heartmann got down on one knee before me.

Heartmann: “…”

(Wait…wh-what are you doing?!)

The guests started to whisper among themselves.

Leonardo: “Just what’s Heartmann doing?!”

Crowlie: “Shh! Quiet…!”

With his knee bent, Heartmann slowly looked up to me.

Heartmann: “…”

His eyes pierced through mine and I couldn’t move.

Heartmann: “I vow unmoving love to you, Dorothy.”

With that declaration, Heartmann lightly took my hand and kissed it.

(Heartmann…!)

My chest grew hot, and tears dripped from my eyes and down my cheeks.

That’s when i knew how determined Heartmann was.

(Oh, thank you, Heartmann!)

Clamor revisited the hall, then turned into loud cheers and applause.

Leonardo: “Look at him, putting on a show! Hahaha!”

Crowlie: “Like a princess and her knight. His armor looks like it’s shining…”

Oz; “Heh, he’s quite the actor. Looks like taking his time before dancing with her was part of the show…”

Wesley: “Tch. Obnoxious. Not a half bad sight to see, though.”

Heartmann stood up and gently put his arms around my shoulders.

Dorothy: “Don’t surprise me like that. It’s all really…embarrassing…”

Heartmann: “Haha, I’m pretty nervous myself.”

We smiled at each other, sharing a gaze.

14.13

Quiet music began to play, and the guests all started to enjoy conversation.

Crowlie and the others ran up to us.

Crowlie: “That was wonderful!”

Leonardo: “That was seriously moving!”

Dorothy: “Thanks!”

Heartmann: “H-Hey, you’re making me blush…”

Oz: “You put on way too much of a show, Heartmann. Didn’t look half bad out there, though. Really gentlemanly.”

Wesley: “That was pretty obnoxious, but…since today’s a special day, I’ll forgive you for it.”

Heartmann: “Thanks, you guys!”

Crowlie: “Well, it’s just about time…the party’s about to end.”

Dorothy: “…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

He looked at me, worried.

I felt his affection so much that it hurt.

Behind him, I saw Solomon approaching.

(It’s finally time…!)

The moment of fate was upon me.

Boys Talk Between Two Unchosen Ones

Crowlie: “The moment of destiny is upon us…!”

Leonardo: “I hope Heartmann and Dorothy live happily ever after!”

Crowlie: “I do too, but…”

Leonardo: “What? You look like you want to say something.”

Crowlie: “Well, it’s not like saying this will change much, but…”

Crowlie: “Sometimes, I think…about what it would be like if Dorothy had chosen me, instead…”

Leonardo: “Guh…yeah, I heart that. I mean, I love Dorothy too.”

Crowlie: “So purely hypothetically, of course, what would you do if Dorothy had picked you?”

Leonardo: “Well, there’s only one thing to do. Go on a date in the grand old forest!”

Crowlie: “A date in the forest…!”

Leonardo: “The forest at night’s got a real mystical feel. WE’d stare up at the stars together.”

Crowlie: “If she had chosen me as her boyfriend, I would tell her all about my secret plans!”

Leonardo: “Your…secret plans?”

Crowlie: “I’m planning on making something special in the Emerald Castle, and…”

Crowlie: “…whoops! The rest is a secret.”

Leonardo: “Looks like we’ve both put a lot of thought into this, then.”

Crowlie: “Oh, I wish Dorothy had chosen me!”

Leonardo: “Me too! Gah, Dorothy, I love you!”

TRUE ENDING (17/17)

1

Solomon and the others came towards us.

Solomon: “Is everyone ready?”

(Looks like it’s finally time…)

Heartmann: “…!”

Everyone locked their eyes on Solomon.

Solomon: “It is time to begin the final ritual.”

Dorothy: “The final ritual…?”

Solomon: “Will you kiss the man you love and stay in Oz?”

Solomon: “Or will you forgo the kiss and go back to Kansas?”

Dorothy: “And that’s my choice, right?”

Solomon stared at me and nodded.

Heartmann: “Did you have her choose a boyfriend for this ritual?”

Heartmann asked Solomon.

Solomon: “That is correct. And you, Heartmann, were chosen.”

Dorothy: “What’s the ritual for?”

Crowlie: “I recall reading something about this in an ancient text…”

Leonardo: “Come to think of it, there’s a really big library in Emerald City, right? What did the book say?”

Dorothy: “I want to know too.”

Crowlie: “I remember it being an ancient prophecy, but…I can’t remember it too well.”

Oz: “The one I heard was that whoever kissed Dorothy when she turned 17 years old would be granted great power…”

Heartmann: “So that’s why you were in the running, Oz?”

Oz: “It was a pretty appealing proposition.”

Wesley: “I heard the same thing. This farce wouldn’t be worth my time otherwise.”

Crowlie: “Oh…”

2

Leonardo: “We just really like Dorothy. I know I don’t care about this ‘power’ stuff!”

Crowlie: “Though, this does seem strange… I can’t quite recall anything about great power in the old book…”

Oz: “Really?!”

Wesley: “What, what do you mean?”

Wesley glared at Solomon and Norton.

Solomon: “The great power, I’m afraid, was a lie.”

Wesley: “What?!”

Solomon: “However, it is true that Dorothy is the chosen one.”

(M-Me?!)

Heartmann: “Please, tell us the truth!”

Dorothy: “I want to hear this, too.”

Everyone paid close attention to Solomon.

Solomon: “Very well, then. I’ll tell you the truth.”

Solomon smiled and started to speak of the ancient prophecy.

Solomon: “When the chosen one turns 17 and kisses her beloved, a new world will be born.”

(What…?!)

Solomon: “Meaning that if Dorothy kisses Heartmann, that will bring forth a new world.”

Heartmann: “A new world…?!”

Oz: “That’s totally different from what I heard…!”

Wesley: “Tch! You lied to us!”

Solomon: “To get you and the Great Oz to join, of course.”

Heartmann: “Did you really need to do that? And just what kind of new world is this?”

Dorothy: “You know what it’ll be, right Solomon?”

Solomon: “The Land of Oz will be reborn.”

Norton: “…”

3

Heartmann: “The Land of Oz will be…reborn…?!”

Crowlie: “How will it be reborn?”

Leonardo: “Wait, Oz isn’t going to disappear, is it?”

Solomon: “It might. I’ve never seen something like this, so I can’t say anything for sure.”

Heartmann: “Wait, what…?!”

Crowlie: “Oz will…disappear…?!”

Leonardo: “Seriously?!”

Norton: “…”

Dorothy: “Wait a minute, Solomon!”

Dorothy: “My kiss is going to decide something that big?!”

Solomon: “If we believe the prophecy, then yes, it will.”

Heartmann: “Is that why you called Dorothy here?”

Solomon: “Yes, it was.”

Heartmann: “That’s terrible! That’s awful to her!”

Heartmann objected with a firm tone.

(Heartmann…)

Heartmann: “Giving her the choice to leave or stay…that was hard enough for her, but now…”

Heartmann: “Now you want to burden her with the fate of this world…?!”

Heartmann: “If I knew this would happen, I wouldn’t have gone to get her!”

Norton: “Heartmann, stand down! Watch your mouth in the presence of Lord Solomon!”

Crowlie: “I feel the same way. This is madness!”

Crowlie: “We just wanted to celebrate Dorothy’s 17th birthday…”

Oz: “Tch…so this is what it was all about.”

Wesley: “Hah! What a farce. So you’re gonna see this ritual thing through?”

Oz: “What’ll you do, Dorothy? Go on with it? Or back out?”

4

(What will happen if I don’t go along with the ritual?)

Will I just live as I did up until yesterday?

(No, that won’t happen…!)

Dorothy: “I’ll still have to go back to Kansas before the Rainbow Bridge disappears.”

Heartmann: “You’re right…”

Crowlie: “But if you leave, we won’t see you ever again…”

Leonardo: “What should we do? C’mon, someone tell us!”

Oz: “It’s simple. Dorothy has to make the decision–stay or go.”

Oz: “I mean, but now, who cares about this ‘new world’ stuff?”

Wesley: “Oz is right. We can’t believe that fishy prophecy.”

(When all’s said and done, I need to make this decision…)

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

Everyone’s eyes converged on me.

Solomon: “We don’t have much time left. Dorothy, your decision…”

(All that’s left is for me to make my decision…)

I started at Heartmann, hiding my resolution.

Dorothy: “…”

I took a deep breath.

(My answer is…)

Dorothy: “I’m staying in Oz…!”

Heartmann: “…!”

Everyone gasped at my resolution.

5

Solomon: “So, you’ll choose your love for Heartmann?”

Dorothy: “I am, because I love him. That’s why I’m going to live with him in Oz.”

Heartmann: “Hey, Dorothy, listen…!”

Dorothy: “Yes?”

Heartmann: “You really shouldn’t throw away the world you’ve lived in and the people you’ve loved like that.”

Heartmann: “So…”

I kissed him on the lips, interrupting him.

Heartmann: “!”

Our lips came together, wrapping my body in that sweet, floaty feeling again.

(I wonder if he can feel how much my heart is beating…)

The stiff tension on his lips gradually disappeared.

He gently put his arms around my back and held me tight.

And when our love became one, in that moment, I felt as though time had stopped.

Heartmann: “…!”

Realizing where he was, Heartmann softly pushed me back.

Heartmann: “Dorothy, did you just…?!”

Dorothy: “I weighed my hometown and my family against you, Heartmann, but even so…”

Dorothy: “…I chose to be with you.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, you…”

As he gazed into my eyes…his words vanished.

(My resolution isn’t changing…!)

Feeling my resolution, Heartmann graced me with a resigned look.

Heartmann: “Well, you’ve made up your mind…”

Dorothy: “Yeah, I’d already decided to stay in this world.”

6

Heartmann: “You’ll stay with me?”

He asked, still looking worried.

I answered with a smile.

Dorothy: “Of course. I’ll always be with you.”

Heartmann: “Dorothy…!”

His regular smiled had returned.

Heartmann: “Thank you…!”

Heartmann held me tight.

Heartmann: “I won’t let you go anymore!”

Leonardo: “So, er…this means that Dorothy’s staying in Oz, right?”

Crowlie: “That’s right, Leonardo!”

Leonardo: “SWEET! Now we’ll always be together!”

Crowlie: “Oh, thank goodness!”

Leonardo and Crowlie started to dance in joy.

Heartmann: “Haha… I’m so happy I can’t help but cry. Is that something men shouldn’t do…?”

I softly took the handkerchief Heartmann pulled out.

Dorothy: “I think you’re a great man, Heartmann…and tears suit you, too.”

I wiped his tears with the handkerchief.

Oz: “Hey, hold on a second! Dorothy, are you seriously going to stay here?”

Dorothy: “Yes, I’m serious.”

Oz: “You’ll never be able to go back to Kansas, y’know? What are you going to do about your aunt? Your uncle?”

Dorothy: “Well, Oz, you’re going to go back, right? I’ll write a letter, so can you send it to them?”

Oz: “What do I look like, a mailman?”

Dorothy: “Please? I’m sure they’ll understand. I mean, I’ve got happiness waiting for me right here!”

Oz: “…Sheesh.”

7

Oz let out an exasperated sigh.

Oz: “Turned into an adult the minute you hit 17, huh.”

Wesley: “Tch…so this royal pain’s gonna stay behind, huh.”

Wesley, however, looked pretty pleased.

Dorothy: “Looking forward to sharing a world with you, Wesley.”

Wesley: “Heh. I guess it might not possibly be terrible to share a world with you, either.”

Heartmann: “Come on, just smile if you’re happy.”

Wesley: “Don’t order me around!”

Solomon floated over to me.

Solomon: “So, Dorothy, you’re fine with this?”

Dorothy: “Right. I’ve made my decision. This land may be something right out of a dream, but the love I have for him and the love he has for me…”

Dorothy: “…that’s all real.”

Solomon: “I see. And you’ll believe in that true love, then?”

Dorothy: “I decided to stay in Oz because I can believe in it.”

Solomon: “Very well. I’ll believe in your love, as well.”

Norton: “…!”

Wesley: “You look a little disappointed, Norton.”

Norton: “N-Not at all…”

Leonardo: “Well, hey, let’s continue the party!”

Crowlie: “Let’s celebrate Dorothy staying in Oz!”

Wesley: “I hear that!”

Oz: “Hey, guys, I’m going back to Kansas…”

Crowlie: “Huh? You’re still here?”

Oz: “Why, you…!”

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Suddenly, Toto let out a nervous bark.

Dorothy: “Toto, what’s wrong?”

Solomon: “It looks like we won’t be able to continue the party…”

(Huh…?)

8

My feet started to tremble.

(…I’m shaking?)

I felt the shake intensify more and more.

Heartmann: “What’s going on…?”

Heartmann looked up at the ceiling.

Dorothy: “An earthquake…?”

I looked up at the ceiling as well to see the large chandelier shaking fiercely and loudly.

Heartmann: “It’s an earthquake!”

Leonardo: “And a big one, at that…!”

The tremors got stronger and stronger.

Crowlie: “Brace yourselves, everyone!”

The people started to panic.

Dorothy:” Is this an earthquake…?”

Heartmann: “Don’t worry…I’m with you!”

Heartmann put a strong arm around my shoulder.

However, he couldn’t hide his nervousness from my sight.

The dance hall itself started to shake as the ground creaked and groaned.

Norton: “Could this be…?!”

Norton looked to Solomon with eyes of worry.

Surprisingly, Solomon was the only calm one in the hall, and whispered as if in anticipation.

Solomon: The prophecy has come true…!”

(The prophecy?)

All of the windows flew open at once, and a raging gale poured in.

An avalanche of people scrambled from the dance hall towards the door.

Crowlie: “This isn’t just any earthquake. Look at that!”

9

The walls and ceilings of the dance hall started to warp and contort, like they were made of candy.

Oz: “The space of the room is bending…?!”

Wesley: “Whoa, we gotta get outta here!”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, let’s go!”

Heartmann took my hand and started running.

Dorothy: “Where are you going?”

I ran behind him, holding onto his hand.

Heartmann: “Outside!”

Crowlie: “We have to hurry!”

I looked back to see the room getting more and more distorted.

Leonardo: “The exit is overrun with people. Everyone, over here!”

Leonardo headed for the servants’ door.

And we ran after him.

(Just what’s going on here…?!)

After getting out of the dance hall, we ran through the great hall.

Leonardo: “We can get outside by passing through here!”

Crowlie: “Is the whole castle going to get swallowed up like this?”

There was a large door deep inside the great hall.

Leonardo: “It’s just through this door…!”

Leonardo and the others tried to open it.

Crowlie: “Now this is one heavy door…!”

Heartmann: “I’ll help!”

Leonardo: “Come on, OPEN!”

Throwing all their strength into it, they desperately tried to get the door open.

10

Oz: “We’ll help you, too!”

Oz and Wesley started to help open the door.

Wesley: “Wait…this isn’t connected to the new world getting born, is it?”

(The new world…?! Wait, Solomon said Oz might disappear…!)

Heartmann: “Don’t worry about that right now! Just push harder!”

Dorothy: “Hurry, it’s almost here!”

The contortion continued to devour the great hall, twisting its beautiful walls and ceiling.

Leonardo: “Don’t give up!”

The door creaked and groaned, but didn’t open in the least.

Dorothy: “Is the same thing going to happen to outside the palace, too…?”

Heartmann: “I don’t know…”

I turned back to see the area become more and more consumed by the monstrous space.

Dorothy: “It’s going to get us!”

The wave of destruction had nearly caught up to us, in all ever-consuming horror.

(We can’t get away…!)

Heartmann stopped pushing the door and looked right at me.

(Heartmann?)

His eyes were filled with determination.

And in the next moment, he held me tight.

Heartmann: “No matter what happens, we’ll always be together!”

The safety I felt from being protected by him wiped away my horror.

Dorothy: “We’ll always…be together.”

Crowlie: “Leonardo, we’ve got to protect them!”

Leonardo: “On it!”

Crowlie and Leonardo stood in front of us, blocking the contortion’s path.

Wesley: “Can’t let you guys get all the good parts!”

Oz: “Don’t forget that everyone here’s Dorothy’s knight!”

(You guys…!)

11

The contortion drew mercilessly closer.

Heartmann: “I kept on telling you to go home, Dorothy, but…”

Heartmann held me tighter.

Heartmann: “But I was finally able to say…that we’ll always be together.”

Dorothy: “I was waiting so long for you to say that…! Can you say it again?”

Heartmann: “No matter what happens, we’ll always be together.”

The moment the wave came upon us, I shut my eyes.

???: “Dorothy…”

(Someone’s calling my name.)

???: “Dorothy, open your eyes?”

I opened my eyes to see Heartmann, looking worried.

Heartmann: “Oh, thank goodness! You’re finally awake!”

Heartmann sighed in relief.

Dorothy: “What happened to us?!”

Heartmann: “See for yourself.”

As he helped me up, I took a look around.

(Huh? Am I seeing things?!)

Close to us was a place unforgettable to me. My house, in Kansas.

(We’re…back in Kansas…?)

Yet, behind my house was the Emerald City.

Dorothy: “Huh?!”

I could see Quadlings City, too, and the grand old forest a little further off.

(Wait, am I dreaming…?!)

12

Leonardo: “This world’s awesome!”

Crowlie: “Just what’s going on here…?”

Dorothy: “Leonardo! Crowlie! You’re okay!”

Oz; “Glad to see you again, little miss.”

Wesley: “Looks like everyone’s all right.”

Dorothy: “Oz! Wesley, too!”

Toto: “Woof!”

Dorothy: “Oh, thank goodness, Toto! You’re all right!”

Heartmann: “But I have to say, this world…”

???: “Our two worlds have merged into one.”

(What?)

I turned around to see Solomon. Norton was with him, too.

Dorothy: “What do you mean?”

Solomon: “It looks like the prophecy passed down in Oz has come true.”

Crowlie: “You mean the prophecy written in that old tome?”

Leonardo: “Then that means this is the new world!”

Heartmann: “So when Dorothy and I kissed, a new world popped up…”

(Looks like it…)

Solomon: “The love between the two of you has brought our two worlds together.”

Oz: “The power of love really is something.”

Solomon: “When the chosen one shares a kiss with her true love on her 17th birthday…”

Solomon: “…the two worlds will become one and prosper for all eternity.”

Solomon: “If the prophecy is correct, then this world should prosper for all eternity.”

Dorothy: “Then what was that weird wave thing?”

13

Norton: “The phenomenon to cause the fusion, it seems.”

Solomon: “Think of it like stirring milk you put in your tea.”

Solomon: “You stir it around and around to make it an even mix, don’t you?”

Crowlie: “That example certain is..easy to understand.”

Wesley: “Hey, Norton. You knew about this prophecy, didn’t you?”

Norton: “…”

Wesley: “I’ll take your silence as a yes. Y’know, I thought you were really shifty.”

Solomon: “Norton loves the Land of Oz from the bottom of his heart, so he was worried.”

Solomon: “Worried that Oz would be destroyed from the birth of the new world.”

Norton: “You had noticed, Lord Solomon…?”

(So that’s why he was looking at me with cold eyes…)

Solomon: “I noticed that you were trying to scared Heartmann, too.”

Norton: “…!”

Heartmann: “What…?”

Solomon” It seems that plan ended in failure, however.”

Norton: “…”

Solomon: “So, what do you think of this world?”

Norton: “I needn’t have worried. It looks to be a splendid world.”

Hearing that, Solomon nodded with a smile.

Dorothy: “It really is a magnificent world! I can’t believe Oz and Kansas are together!”

Heartmann: “It looks like we can all be together, then.”

Leonardo: “That’s right, we’ve got to say hi to Dorothy’s aunt and uncle!”

Crowlie: “True, since we’re going to be living in the same world from now on.”

Oz: “So, dreams and reality’ve collided…a perfectly ideal world.”

Dorothy:” Looks like a fun place to take a balloon trip through.”

Oz; “You’ve all always got seats on my balloon. Best rates anywhere.”

Everyone laughed.

14

(So, this is the world the love between Heartmann and I made…)

(I wonder what kind of world it’ll turn into?)

Heartmann softly put his arm around my shoulder.

Heartmann: “Today’s a really special day.”

Dorothy: “It is…?”

Heartmann: “It’s your birthday, Dorothy…and the birthday of this new world.”

Dorothy: “Yeah, you’re right.”

(Happy birthday, new world.)

A few weeks later

There weren’t many signs of confusion or chaos over the new world, and most people accepted it.

Toto: “Woof, woof!”

Dorothy: “Toto, you don’t need to hurry so much!”

Toto delightedly ran down the road to Winkies.

Heartmann: “Hahaha! Toto’s as energetic as ever, huh.”

Dorothy: “Toto really seems to like this new world, so he just runs everywhere.”

Heartmann: “I’m pretty fond of this new world, myself.”

Though Heartmann was busy every day with his kingly duties, he’d come to see me himself today.

Dorothy: “It’s been so long since I’ve been to Winkies that I was really looking forward to today.”

Heartmann: “And everyone in town’s looking forward to seeing you again.”

Heartmann: “But, you know…”

Heartmann took my hand as we walked along the path.

Heartmann: “I was looking forward to this day most of all.”

Dorothy: “You really do look pretty happy.”

15

Heartmann: “When I was lying to you, Dorothy, I couldn’t touch you much, so…now that I can, I’m overjoyed.”

He walked along, swinging my hand as he did.

Dorothy: “Oh, speaking of which, I heard Wesley was staying in Winkies.”

Heartmann: “He was until yesterday. He went off on a journey by himself.”

Dorothy: “Oh…then I won’t be able to see him, huh.”

Heartmann: “He told me to tell you hi.”

Dorothy: “Wesley did?”

Heartmann: “Haha, can’t believe it, huh?”

Dorothy: “How about Oz?”

Heartmann: “He’s making a new hot air balloon in Emerald City, I hear.”

Dorothy: “Another balloon?”

Heartmann: “Crowlie was complaining that Oz was forcing him to help.”

Dorothy: “You saw Crowlie?”

Heartmann: “Well, Winkies, the Emerald City, and the grand old forest are really putting effort into trade.”

Heartmann: “Pretty soon, all of our countries should be all the richer.”

Dorothy: “You three really are kings, huh?”

I was sure all three lands would become a lot more abundant than they were now.

(Because their brains, heart, and courage are all connected by such a strong bond…)

Heartmann slipped his hand out of mine and then put it around my shoulder.

Dorothy: “Huh…?”

Heartmann: “I wanted to walk like this. Doesn’t it feel like we’re having a mature date, like this?”

Dorothy: “R-Really…?”

As I said that, my heartbeat sped up more and more.

(He’s got me really nervous, but I can feel his warmth, too… I think I like this.)

Heartmann: “Hey, Dorothy…”

16

He whispered into my ear with a sweet voice.

Heartmann: “I’ve got a room for you in Winkies castle.”

Dorothy: “What kind of room is it?”

Heartmann: “It’s not as fancy as the one in Quadlings castle, but it’s a nice little room, decorated with all sorts of gems and minerals.”

Dorothy: “Oh, that sounds lovely! Thank you!”

Heartmann: “So you’ll spend the night, right?”

(H-Huh?)

Heartmann: “Or do you have a curfew at home?”

Dorothy: “Hey, I’m already 17. My aunt and uncle aren’t that strict anymore.”

Heartmann: “Then, by all means, spend the night.”

Dorothy: “True…I’ll eventually live in the castle anyway, so it might be a good way to get used to seeing the place.”

Heartmann: “Wait, you’ll…live in the castle? Does that mean…?”

Dorothy: “Oh? Wasn’t it you who said we’d always be together?”

Heartmann: “I did… Then that means you’ll…”

(…Marry you. Which I want to do, but…)

Dorothy: “Well, that’s something further down the road.”

Heartmann: “What, really?”

Dorothy: “Well, I just want to enjoy and savor our dating period, you know?”

Heartmann: “Haha…in that case, I’ll give you the best dating period you could hope for.”

With that, Heartmann stopped.

Then he slowly brought his face to mine.

[Spoiler Warning!] (Chapter 14: True Ending CG)

(Oh…)

Our lips came together.

The sweet kiss wrapped my whole body in joy.

Dorothy: “You’ve gotten better at kissing.”

Heartmann: “I don’t need to practice. You get better naturally…as long as you love the other person.” I dunno about that one… <.<

We gazed into each other’s eyes and smiled.

17

As the wind blew through the trees, I felt as thought they were giving us their blessing.

(It really is wonderful to be able to be with the person you love.)

Heartmann: “Dorothy…”

Leonardo: “Hey, you guys! No kissing on the road!”

Crowlie: “That’s right — that’s an obstruction to pedestrians!”

Dorothy: “Leonardo?! Crowlie?”

Heartmann: “What’re you guys doing here?!”

Crowlie: “We went to check up on Dorothy, but her aunt said she left with you, Heartmann.”

Leonardo: “And when we chase after you, what do we find but you smooching in broad daylight… Sheesh!”

Heartmann and I exchanged glances and chuckled.

Dorothy: “Want to run?”

Heartmann: “Let’s go!”

Holding hands with Heartmann, we dashed off.

Heartmann: “Haha! Sorry, we’re going up ahead!”

Crowlie: “The kissing suspects are escaping towards WInkies!”

Leonardo: “We can’t let them escape! After them!”

Crowlie and Leonardo dramatically waved their arms as they came running after us.

Dorothy: “Haha, looks like everyone’s as spry as every in the new world!”

I could see the buildings of Winkies City on he other side of the road.

As we ran, I glanced up at the sky to see a large rainbow, stretching across the sky as if to connect our two worlds.

The True Ending Completed!

Dorothy: “Congratulations on getting the best ending!”

Heartmann: “A world where everyone can be happy has been born! How wonderful!”

Leonardo: “This is seriously awesome! It’s a completely happy ending!”]

Crowlie: “I was quite moved, myself! Truly, thank you!”

Dorothy: “If I knew that such a wonderful world would come about, I wouldn’t have worried so much in the first place!”

Heartmann: “Haha…true, true. Lord Solomon could have just told us to begin with.”

Crowlie: “I think this turned out fine. It’s because you overcame such a difficult trial that we have this wonderful world now.”

Heartmann: “Nice, Crowlie. You sure said it.”

Dorothy: “Oh, come to think of it…the prophecy could have not come true, and our worlds could have ended up not fusing…”

Heartmann: “Dorothy, NOW is when you’re thinking about that?!”

Leonardo: “But aren’t you curious about what kind of world the other endings have?”

Heartmann: “Well, true…you’d probably find that out if you saw the other endings, but…”

Dorothy: ‘Then, let’s go take a look!”

Leonardo: “Yeah, let’s!”

Crowlie: “We’ll leave you behind if you don’t come along, Heartmann!”

Heartmann: “Sure, I’ll go! No way can I let Dorothy go alone with the two of you.”

Dorothy: “All right, everyone, let’s go!”

Total Chapters: 15 (14 chapters with choices and the ending chapter)

Total Endings: 4 (True Ending, Farewell Ending, Friends Ending, Indulgent Ending)

Total Tickets Required: 209

Total Days to Completion (Assuming 6 tickets a day): 34.83 (6 tickets for 34 days and 5 tickets on the last day)

Total Love Choices: 42 (3 per chapter for 14 chapters; no choices in the ending)

Total Love Meter Possible: 294

Total Love Meter for Friends Ending: <210

Total Love Meter for Farewell Ending: 210-270

Total Love Meter for True Ending: >270

Note: If your intimacy exceeds 270, you will be able to choose all 3 endings. This means you can make all of the same choices on the second or third playthrough and you can still see all three endings.

Tip: Did you screw up a Love Choice? You can click “MyPage” at the bottom of the screen and start the section all over again! You don’t lose your ticket until you complete the entire segment.

Charisma Contests:

  • Chapter 3.10: 1,000
  • Chapter 4.8: 2,400
  • Chapter 6.15: 5,200
  • Chapter 7.8: 8,800
  • Chapter 9.4: 12,000
  • Chapter 10.13: 16,000
  • Chapter 11.6: 22,000
  • Chapter 12.7: 30,000

Tip: When you’re doing a Check Out At Party, press the little green circle in the bottom right hand corner of the “Guest” picture to switch to a new guest. Compare their charisma to your own and only challenge them when you’re fairly confident you can win. There’s no reason to ever lose a Check Out at Party if you can avoid it.

Minimum “Check Out At Party” Per Day to Pass Charisma Contests (Assuming you win every single one): 10 (You need 1,200 Charisma/day to hit 30,000 in 26 days)

Love Choices:

  • Chapter 5.11
    • Premium: Winkies’ Public Square (Daytime) | 400 coins
    • Normal: Winkies’ City (Daytime) | 100 Coins/5,000 Spinels
  • Chapter 8.11
    • Premium: Faithful Plaid Skirt | 500 coins
    • Normal: Polite Skirt | 200 coins/8,000 Spinels
  • Chapter 13.11
    • Premium: His Shirt | 700 coins
    • Normal: Rough Pajamas | 300 coins/24,000 Spinels
  • Chapter 14.12
    • Premium: Queen’s Dress (Shining Gold) | 900 Coins
    • Normal: Rode Dress (Pure White) | 490 Coins/28,000 Spinels

Total Coin Cost for All Premium Endings: 2,500

Total Coin Cost for All Normal Endings: 1,090

Total Spinel Cost for All Normal Endings: 65,000