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!”