“I’d like to go.
I’ve never been on an airship before.”

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Chloe spoke in a rather urgent tone.
Eric’s lips curved up.

“Fine.”

He spoke in a strict voice, as if he couldn’t bother to continue the conversation.

“The maintenance will take less than an hour.
If you just rest alone, I’ll come back right away.
It’s a cruise airship, so there are plenty of things you can occupy yourself with.”

“I’m looking forward to it already.”

Chloe placed a hand over her racing heart.
She was blooming with anticipation, but at the same time, she was still worried.
So, she asked carefully.

“Is it really alright for me to come with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just, I don’t deserve to go…”

“Chloe.”

Eric’s brows knitted together.

“This airship is something that I personally built.
No one would dare bar you from entering.”

Chloe let out a relieved sigh.
Then, she gave him a small smile.

“Thank you.
Then, I’ll get ready.”

She beckoned Andrea, who was standing at one corner of the room.
She also added,

“I’ve always wanted to ride one, too.”

This much was a satisfactory answer for Eric, so he ended the conversation also with a smile.

 

* * *

 

Seeing an airship from up close, Chloe realized how massive it actually was.

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In the past, when she heard that a single airship could accommodate hundreds of people, she only laughed and told them not to lie.
But in reality, it really seemed like hundreds or even more than a thousand people could fit.

It was a bit of an exaggeration for the most part, but really, it was that great.
That’s why after Eric had built something like this, he gained a lot of respect from other people.

Chloe looked at Eric with a deeply proud gaze.

“You’re truly amazing.”

Chloe’s gaze full of admiration made Eric feel a bit flattered.
He’s heard this phrase many times, but it felt like it took on a different meaning when Chloe said it.
He felt more elated.

“It’s more amazing inside.
Be sure to visit the pool and the banquet hall.”

“I will.”

Chloe replied with a definite answer.
Eric continued with a grin.

“I’ll be in the engine room.
If anything happens, you can come there.”

“I’m sure nothing will happen.
Don’t worry, and stay safe over there.”

Chloe answered and entered the room that Eric escorted her to.

Since it was a cruise airship, the room was large and luxurious.
It was very much like a hotel room.

With art deco wallpaper behind it, the bed was big enough that three people could easily fit in it, and the lace over its canopy was wonderful as well.
At the side, the desk and chair, and also the sofa had an antique feel to them.

It’s said that Eric chose all this personally, and it was part of his taste in design.

As the airship took off, Chloe felt its weightlessness.
She brought a chair near the window and sat down.

The airship slowly rose higher into the sky.
When she glanced down, the town below already looked so small.

She could see the clouds.
They were so close that she could touch them if only she’d reach out.
Chloe was very tempted to open the window, but she managed to suppress this urge because she knew that everything in the room would be swept into a frenzy.

Instead, she rose from her seat and went outside.
She walked through the hall and went to the deck.

Whooosh! Strong gusts of wind swept by her.

“Madam! It’s dangerous! Please come back inside!”

Someone shouted at Chloe, who was staggering.
But Chloe couldn’t hear that voice clearly—the wind was so loud.

“I can’t hear you! I’ll just be out for a little while! I’ll come back right away!”

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“It’s dangerous, Madam! If you’d like to stay outside, please tie that rope around your waist! Yes! Like that!”

This time, Chloe heard what the other person was saying.
Following the instructions, she tied the rope around her waist.
The other end of it was secured to the railing.

Though if she really would fall out, would it be possible for her to hang onto this rope and stay alive? Chloe leaned over the railing, believing that the chance was slim.

The strong wind blew and wracked her entire body.
Her hair fluttered.

Chloe tied her hair roughly with the hair tie on her wrist, then she looked outward again.

The newly arisen sun was breathtaking.
The bright red sun slowly rose from the horizon, emitting an unimaginably bright light.
The illuminated clouds shimmered and hovered in the air, and the airship continued to fly past them.

Chloe reached for the passing clouds.
She liked the cold feeling on her hands.
And she smiled.
It was a view that made her smile wholeheartedly.

It would be nice to die here.

She slowly let go of her hand’s grip on the railing.
And closed her eyes.

The air, rising around her like a whirlwind, enveloped her.
She felt her body drift upward from the floor.

“Chloe!”

But then, an arm hastily wrapped around her waist and tethered her back to the ground.
Chloe opened her eyes.
Eric was here.

He was breathless—it seemed like he rushed to come here.
Chloe looked up at him with somewhat astonished eyes.
As Eric stared back at her, there was a disbelieving look in his eyes.

“I heard that a crazy woman came running up the deck and to her death—but I didn’t know it was you. Are you out of your mind?”

“I didn’t come here to die.”

It was different.
She didn’t come here with the intention to die, but she also thought that it might be alright for her to die here.

If she came here with the intention to die, then it meant that her mind was already set to ending her life.
But with the latter, feeling that it’s alright to die only meant that her will to live had stopped right then.

The two ideas were completely different to her.
Chloe, therefore, felt somehow wronged.

“I’m just here to get some fresh air.
There’s nothing for you to be worried about.”

“How can I not be worried?”

With Chloe in his arms, he untied the rope around her waist.

“You already have such a frail body, and it looks exactly like you could be swept away with a single gust of wind.
How can you say that I shouldn’t be concerned? I had to rush all the way here!”

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He soon became visibly angry.
So, Chloe flinched a little.
Even so, he gently took her hand and led her back inside.

“I should have just told you to stay in your room.
If it was like that, I wouldn’t have needed to come here in such a hurry.”

“I’m sorry.”

“If you know, then never mind.”

Eric answered curtly.
He still seemed to be very angry.
Chloe became curious.

Why was he angry now? Why was he worried about her? She thought about it over and over again, but she couldn’t find the right answer.

If she were to be asked what the most difficult task was in the whole world, then for her, it was to understand Eric’s thoughts.

“Why,”

So, she decided to ask directly.

“Why are you worried about me?”

They had returned to the room now, and only the two of them were there.
She raised the volume of her voice a little.

“It’s strange.
It’s just, I did what you asked me to do.
What about that worries you so much…”

“Then do you mean it’s wrong for me to worry about you?”

“No.
It’s not that.
Something like this, maybe it’s just your good intentions, or maybe it’s sympathy.
I can understand that.
But what I’m curious about is why it seems like you’re patching things up between us.
We’re going to be divorced anyway, and we’ll soon be strangers.
Why then?”

“This damn talk about divorce.
Again.
Really driving me crazy.”

Eric tousled his hair messily.
Then, the middle of his forehead crumpled.

Chloe was always like this.
Whenever he tried to do something good, she would always pry for a reason behind it.
Why was she acting like this? What’s wrong?

Eric truly couldn’t understand.

For some reason, he just liked spending time with Chloe.
That’s all.

It was unexpectedly pleasant to have meals together with her, and it was nice to go out sometimes together.
And it was quite satisfying to see a child-like, refreshingly innocent smile on her face.

He didn’t know when he started having thoughts like this.
Even so, with what she was asking here, he was certain that he liked spending time with Chloe.
That’s all that’s there to it.
But why did Chloe keep questioning him?

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“I’m not doing it for your sake.”

Eric further tousled his hair.

“It’s just that I think I need to take responsibility for what happened between us, and I’m trying to make reparations to restore our relationship.”

“When we’re going to divorce anyway?”

“God damn it.”

This talk about divorce again.
Eric gritted his teeth.
He breathed deeply enough that his chest swelled.

He had no intention of letting her go.
How could he?

He had never let anything slip through his fingers.

So you, too, Chloe Rolphe.
I will never let you go.

However, it was difficult to express these thoughts that would have surely painted joy over Chloe’s features.
Eric swept his hair back, thinking that he should just brush off this talk of divorce this time.
He was convinced that he could change Chloe’s mind any time in the future.

“Yes.
I’m trying to get along with you just until the divorce.
So.”

“……”

“Just stay still when you can.
Don’t let anything like earlier ever happen again.”

“I understand.
I apologize.”

Chloe answered as she clasped her hands together calmly.

There was a small smile on her lips as she spoke, and Eric wanted to know just what exactly that small smile meant.

“Why are you smiling?”

So Eric asked.
And Chloe looked up, answering him.

“You always do the best that you can, whatever it is.”

Chloe continued.

“So it makes me happy, seeing that you’re doing your best for us.”

With her hands still clasped together, she raised them to the side of her face as she tilted her head to one side.
A bright smile tugged up on the corners of her lips.

“You’ve never done so before.”

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