Chapter 19: One’s Duty and Role (The Chronicles of Time)
His mind was in turmoil and turned upside down–driven crazy to the utmost! In his palms carried her fragile soul. It could only mean one thing:
She was drifting away.
No matter how much power he’ll have to spend, he’ll bring her back. For sure! Otherwise…he couldn’t bear the pain anymore…
It wasn’t too late to guide her soul back to its body. Instead of crying and shouting at it to go back, he poured his mana into it. Streams of light shackled the small luminescent orb. It pried and poked, then they were slowly absorbed into it.
In the old times there was a practice that consisted of combining one’s magic with another’s soul. Using the mana that was absorbed, breaking into the soul’s consciousness was an easy feat. It was often used to wake up a hazy soul that had lost its way and required a small push to find its way back onto the path of the afterlife.
But he didn’t have that purpose. Such a spell used for guiding a soul back to its body? It’s forbidden!
Who could stop him anyways? The times he casted it in the past was countless! Besides, all others could do was talk crap, who would dare fight against him? Even an army of wizards from the magic tower couldn’t restrain him when his practice was exposed. Who would have the power to annihilate him?
Finally, he arrived at the core. The streams of mana contained his consciousness, so he controlled it as he pleased. He probed the core, then very carefully, entered the light.
A tall door stood in front of him when he opened his eyes. Black lines formed on his face and his already pale face grew even more pale–but not from exhaustion.
‘W-why is she here out of all places?!’
This wasn’t the friendship Himari had expected. She did consider the fact that the friendship could go awry and some knives would be exchanged, but who would’ve thought that every time they bumped into each other, not knives, but sharp swords would be thrown! And rocks! And pencils!!
Himari hoped that they would get along, and they did.
Aoko-san was just not as easy to befriend as she thought. Sure, they officially became friends now, but most of the time, it didn’t feel like they were. She would treat her coldly. Himari looked at this attitude positively, thinking that since Aoko-san was able to show such a behavior towards her, it meant that she trusted her.
It was all well until she found out about Himari’s ‘little crush’. And that was fast.
From other’s point of view, it was a conspicuous fact that Tsukasa-kun and Himari got along well. Maybe too well. The relationship the two shared seemed to be more than that of friends. It was only Himari who was blinded and couldn’t see where this was going. Tsukasa-kun was well-known throughout the first-years for his friendly disposition. Once he started to accompany Himari, his reputation rocketed through the roof. Rumors about them were scattered widely, good and bad. However, Himari wasn’t cognizant of such a thing.
But Aoko-san was.
She found it funny just how clueless her new friend was. Taking advantage of her slow mind, she would often make rude comments about just how brainless she was. And she was the so-called genius? Ha! It was just too amusing.
“Go bother that boyfriend of yours.” She would interrupt without hesitation. “I’m busy.”
“What? He doesn’t want you anymore?” She would then laugh and turn away briskly. Then, she would step to the side as a pencil flew her way.
“I thought we were friends!”
“Can’t friends discuss romance?”
“Yes, but you’re not discussing it with me. You’re just making fun of me.” Himari would retort.
Then they would encounter each other again and the same situation would play out again. Tsukasa-kun, aware of how keen Aoko-san was, soon realized that she wasn’t the person she made others think she was. Cold, harsh, and ruthless. Those are the true words that she was to be described as. She wasn’t a bad influence, nor was she a good one either. So he couldn’t do anything but just observe.
“Himari.” Himari said, not looking up from her book.
He closed his eyes. “Aik–”
“Himari.” She reiterated firmly.
He tightened his smile. “Aikawa.”
Himari turned away from him, continuing to flip through her book. Tsukasa-kun sighed. He had no choice but to give in. “Fine. H-Himari-chan.”
She grinned, turning her head back slightly. “That works fine as well.”
“...I have something to say.”
She cocked her head. “Go on.”
“Don’t you think that…Aoko-san is a bit odd?”
She paused, pursing her lips then perched her chin on her hand with a thoughtful look on her face. “Hmm…I did think that she was odd,” he leaned in closer to listen to her opinion, “but…I think that she’s a good person at heart.”
She was like a butterfly, circling on top of a spider’s web. Not even hesitating to dive into it. Now that she got herself tangled up in its webs…could she get out of it?
Tsukasa-kun couldn’t help but worry. He hoped that the spider wasn’t bloodthirsty.
Natsumi’s ears perked up. For some reason, she could feel a familiar presence outside of the room. Wait…. Since when was she able to feel other people’s presence?! She turned to see that the three paid no mind to it at all. But…how was she to get the door open without attracting their attention?
While Natsumi hacked through her brain for a solution, the other three were happily immersed in their subject of defeating the Demon King.
“That no-good emperor is planning on deploying soldiers to the western border to eradicate the demons that started to appear around there.” ‘Cassius’ said.
“Although they’re all low-leveled, demons showing up at the western border is unheard of.” Mikhael drank from his cup intently. “It could be that the Demon King has started to awaken, causing a commotion amongst the demons. This could just be the beginning. Who knows what sort of stronger demons would reveal themselves in the future?”
The saintess nodded her head in agreement. “Even if the emperor doesn’t command us to move, we’ll have to either way–for the people’s sake.”
The three huddled closer and their moods turned somber. They remained silent until the saintess took in a deep breath and opened her mouth, “In preparation for that time, I need to make sure that I gain control of the Holy Empire.”
Although it’s called an empire, it was just made out of numerous sects of different varieties, scattered across the Lucia ‘empire’. Despite it being formed by just sects, the Holy Empire wielded a large influence over the people, and its wealth amassed throughout time. Thus, earning its name. Every ten years, the sects would each choose their own saint. The chosen ones then were to ‘compete’ for fame and whichever contestant won would be named ‘saintess’. Of course, they won’t succeed that title completely until the previous saint relinquishes their title and hands it over.
There were exceptions, of course. For example, if the candidate had strong holy power, they would immediately be placed in the position of a saint and trained. Once selected, they would be the only saint, regardless if there was already someone sitting on that seat.
Mikhael sighed; aggrieved, “The whole matter is a death omen. An unfavorable premonition.”
‘Cassius’ opened his palms then closed them. Small flames danced then were quickly extinguished, then revived again, then snuffed out. “Why should we care about the people?”
The saintess began to answer, “Because–”
“Because we’re powerful?” ‘Cassius’ interrupted with a sneer, killing off the flame in his hands abruptly. His tone turned harshly mocking. “Because we’re born here? Because we have a duty? An obligation? Tell me,” he turned to the others and propped one of his arms up, leaning on his left leg, “were we born to be heroes? Were we born so that we should play the role of ‘protector’ in order to shield the people?”
“Cassius,” the saintess groaned. But he continued on, madly.
“I didn’t ask to be respected. Sure, having people bow to you, offer themselves up for you, and be at your service is nice. But there are other ways to make them submit to you–to make them fear you.”
“Cassius…I don’t want to rule people by using fear.”
He looked at her frown and his eyes turned cold. Deprived of all light. “Then have you seen the people? And I’m not talking about the people in the Holy Empire,” she clamped her mouth shut, “I’m talking about the common people. Not those cheerful ones that you’ve been exposed to, but the ones that are just so filthy inside and out that you feel revolted from one glance. The people who murdered. The people who destroyed another’s lives. The people who use hate as a reason to live. Countless! Open your eyes! Not everyone is a good person. Not everyone will bow down and accept morality and give into the light. Not everyone deserves to live.”
As he talked his hands waved around relentlessly as if it’ll express his frustration.
With much hesitation, Mikhael slowly nodded his head to agree. “Saintess…you know, I’ve been sent to observe the aftermath of a battle. War is not a pretty thing. Disputes over territory are not a pretty thing. And yet, the people that want us to protect them are the most vile and dirtiest of them all. They’re the ones that start all this suffering, and sit back and watch as their own people are devoured and dyed in black.”
‘Cassius’ took over, allowing the saintess no opportunities to speak. “They covet beauty, they covet riches. But they can’t have them. Humans are bound to fall! Only the strong and pure can stand on their feet. There is not a single person that hasn't done anything wrong in their life. You say that those people are ‘weak’ and that they need us, but what about yourself? Those people will trample on you when you’ve fallen. They’ll spit on you; like you’re dirt. Just because you’re sitting high up currently, they’ll eventually drag you down and defile you at their own pleasure and satisfaction.
“We can protect them from harm now, but when you need a hand, will they stretch theirs out for you? They can shower you with praises, with flowers, with money right now. But that’s because they want something from you. If you weren’t a saintess, would they even smile at you? If you were a beggar, would they toss you a coin? Think about it. These people that you want to protect, are they worth it?!”
The saintess fell silent and absorbed his words. He enunciated every word clearly and they rang through her mind, traveled down to her chest, then planted a seed in her heart. His words were true. Humans were born selfish. Born greedy. There will always be people praying for her downfall so they can snatch her luxury for themselves.
“...you’re right.” She said, raising her head. Her voice trembled then gradually became more firm. “You’re right! Every. Single. Word. You. Said… Is right! But I choose to believe in my people. I believe that no matter how much I’ve fallen, they will be there for me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a thousand, or a hundred, or even just one! I know–you two will always be there, and I hope that it stays that way. However, you don’t need my power. You two can defend yourselves just fine. At the very most, I want to be able to protect someone that needs me. That way…I know that I’m of use…”
Now it was the other’s turn to be speechless. Even Natsumi pulled herself into the deep conversation without herself being aware. The saintess didn’t just stop there. It was like she was a volcano, triggered by ’Cassius’s explosive display, she was also nudged to explode as well.
“So what if I was sheltered for years? Don’t forget, we all used to be children from the streets–abandoned. Do you think that I don’t know the word ‘suffering’?! Do you think that I’m so ignorant?! That I became spoiled and pampered and forgot about the difficulties of life due to being exposed to some luxury?!”
“No that’s not–!”
“I know that there are people out there that have noble hearts. I also know that there are people out there that are stained black! But in evil, there is good.” Her arms flung wildly as she spoke fervently. “So what if people won’t treat me nicely, pamper me, or toss me a coin when I’m no longer saintess? I’ll do what I can for them! As long as the intention was genuine, good will always conquer evil. Kindness will always be repaid. What’s wrong with hoping that people will change their ways? As long as I can help them, whether I’ll be kicked in the mud or not, is something that the future me has to worry about!
“The present is the present; I’ll do what I can at the moment to relieve their burden.” She held a fist to her chest and stood up, stoically. “To let them know that all they’ve spent on me wasn’t for naught. To let them know that I’m not just a gentle saintess who only knows to sit there like a porcelain doll! To let them know the reason why I’m saintess–to protect them!”
She was mesmerizing. Brilliant. Like the sun. She was out of reach, flying higher and higher, being swept away by the wind, swept off her feet. ‘Cassius’ looked down at his hands. Her ending was obvious. Such a bright person, filled with positivity and her optimistic nature…just how many others like her are out there? She shined so dazzlingly that he couldn’t bear to look.
If she had seen what he had seen with his very eyes…would she still think the same? But she was stubborn. Determined. Obstinate. He knew, and knew very clearly what would happen to her. People won’t change. They can’t change. And at that moment, he wished that she would never change.
A warm hand snapped her out of her concentration.
A faint smile rested on his lips. “That saintess… she was naive. Stupid. And a hopeless person.”
She saw Yuu standing next to her. His hair was long like the day she met him. It made him look exactly like ‘Cassius’, but his face was younger. She took his hand and grasped onto it. Consumed by curiosity she asked, “...that saintess…what happened to her afterwards?”
#romance #novel #fiction #fantasy
Chapter 18: Reconciliation (?) (The Chronicles of Time)
Himari reached her hand towards him, then she quickly shrank back when he turned around abruptly. “What’s wrong?”
“...don’t you think that Kaneko-kun and Izanami have been sick for too long?”
It was odd and he couldn’t put his finger on it. Just who would get sick for ten days? From what he knew of them, they seemed to be pretty strong people. Besides, it was too much of a coincidence for both of them to be sick for this long. It could be possible that since they were both ill, they took care of each other so germs were passed back and forth; but shouldn’t they be showing signs of improving despite that?
“T-they’re getting better!” Himari couldn’t remember how many times she’s said that line.
He raised an eyebrow then looked away. “Alright, I really hope they are.”
Like another weight adding onto her shoulders, she lowered her head. “...yeah.”
It couldn’t be helped. The one he liked was Natsumi after all. Of course he was going to worry–it made sense. However, she was also concerned. It has been ten days since Natsumi fell asleep. Yuu assured her that he had everything under control but…does he? It has been a while since he had a foot outside his room. Forget stepping out of his room, they haven’t even heard his voice! His presence just completely vanished!
Indeed, his skills were not to be questioned. It may, possibly, be a matter of time. If she opened the door, there was a high chance that she would see Yuu napping without a care in the world while she was busy chasing her crush and worrying endlessly!
“I’m sure they’ll be back in no time!” Himari said, her hands forming fists raised in front of her. “Yeah!”
He looked askance at her, but it quickly faded away with a smile in its place. For some reason their positions reversed and it was his turn to assure her. “Yes, I’m sure.”
The wind faced them, her hair danced wildly but beautifully behind her. The two walked side by side. Every morning he would arrive on time and wait for her to come out and glance behind her before the door closed to see nothing but an empty hallway. Despite noticing that, she would just greet him with joy and accompany him on the way to school. The dream would end when they parted at the end of the day.
“Tsukasa-kun…will...I mean, are you free this Saturday?”
“Hm?” He put a hand to his chin and seemed to be in thought. “Let’s see…” he saw her squirm with anticipation and chuckled inwardly, “I think I am free.”
“Really?” Himari looked up instantly with a gleam in her eyes. “T-then…”
“Actually, I think I do have an appointment that day…” Tsukasa-kun turned his head slightly away from her and focused his sight on her from the corner of his eyes, a smirk playing on his lips.
Himari’s gaze fell and, unconsciously, gripped onto the strap of her bag. “Oh…it’s fine if you can’t.”
“Oh wait! Nope, my schedule is clear!”
She kept falling for his words, believing that he was sincere, but the more he tricked her, the more she had doubts. Was he playing her? “Anyways, if you’re free then meet me at the station at eleven! If you can, o-of course.”
Tsukasa-kun couldn’t help but snicker while she shot him a look laced with suspicion.
They both groaned the moment they saw each other, not even bothering to hide their displeasure.
“It seems that you’re not going to play that ‘nice girl’ role as usual.” Himari crossed her arms. In front of her, Aoko-san put a hand to her hips while holding onto a pile of papers.
“I don’t have time to deal with your sarcasm.” She sighed heavily then took a step to leave. “What?”
Himari blocked her and said, “Um…I…”
Aoko-san tilted her head and tapped her hips impatiently. “What is it? If you don’t have anything good to say, move aside. I have to get these documents completed by the end of the day.”
Himari conceded and stepped to the side. Aoko-san walked past her, her hands underneath the tower of paper. But then…
Aoko-san halted then sighed. “What?”
“I…before I said that you’re not that bad.” Himari closed her eyes, her back facing her. “I…really mean that. If possible, we can be friends…?”
She blinked, as if she couldn’t understand what Himari was rambling on about. It was a stupid proposal. Why would she even be friends with her? With someone whom their friend is her friend is her rival in love? In fact, since she and Natsumi were best friends, why would she even ask to be friends with someone who hurt an important person to her?
“...I’m afraid I don’t understand your intentions.” She casted a suspicious glance at Himari's way.
“I…I really don’t want to regard you as an enemy,” Himari said truthfully, spinning around. “At any rate, I’d prefer to not treat anyone rudely. Let’s face it, we’ll be in the same school until we graduate. Shouldn’t we just live high school happily and blissfully? Is a boy really worth all the trouble?”
“...” Aoko-san took a deep, heavy breath then said, “You’re right. A boy is not worth all that trouble.”
“But that’s your view. Not mine. However…” she glanced at Himari’s downcasted expression. “I think that being friends…is fine. Don’t worry, I won’t try anything on Izanami-san. I don’t know what took over me before, but…I will say this: if I truly liked Kaneko-kun, I shouldn’t have hurt those around him.”
Her blazing eyes filled Himari with restless ardor in her heart. She continued on, “I’m sorry for spiking the chocolate with theobromine.”
“Oh, that’s forgiven–”
“Also for smothering glue over your seat. And adding tons of salt to your water. And for stealing your pens.”
Himari was speechless. Just how much did she do behind her back?! “Hold on, just me? It makes it seem as if you have a grudge on me instead of Natsumi!”
Aoko-san shrugged. “You were easier to target.”
Himari flared up. “What?”
Aoko-san left with no response.
“Hey!” Himari ran after her then stopped. The distance between them was just too big. “T-that means we’re friends now…right?”
She paused then continued to walk on. “...think whatever you want.”
Himari’s mouth curved and her eyes squinted into crescents. “Alright!”
Behind her, she could hear the girl’s cheery tone. There was a small tug on her lips but she pushed it down. “Really…she’s so stupid.”
Natsumi spun around. Where did Yuu’s voice come from? It couldn’t be from ‘Cassius’ because he was still happily chatting away with the others. Unless it’s telepathy?
“Yuu?” She called out. “Where are you?”
“Go back! Don’t leave on your own. Go back!”
“What?” She became puzzled. He continued to shout the same words to the point where his voice sounded a bit hoarse. But his voice sounded so pained and aggrieved that she couldn’t help but try and console him. “Yuu? Are you alright?”
“Please…don’t leave again.”
“Yuu? I’m not going anywhere though?”
But he couldn’t hear her no matter what she said.
“I won’t…I won’t tease you anymore. So please…!”
To think that she would see the day when Yuu would be begging. She felt so satisfied, but it wasn’t the right time to act smug. When she meets up with him later, she’ll be sure to brag it off in front of him, she thought.
‘But getting out of here is the first priority!’
His voice disappeared. Suddenly, she felt a chill sliding down her back.
“Yuu? Are you there?”
Something must’ve happened. Even though he couldn’t hear her, to Natsumi, just the sound of his voice was enough. It was enough to know that she wasn’t alone. Knowing Yuu, although he could be overly obnoxious, he still had a good heart. If he wanted to do something, he’d even pull down the heavens and use any means to achieve it. And now, he wanted to seek her out. Of course he would accomplish that.
Trusting him, she remained in place. ‘Yuu will find me! For sure!’
But the only thing she really trusted was his powers. How could anything go wrong with Yuu’s powers? He’s a powerful magician and he boasted of it everyday! It was about time his powers came in handy and proved its worth. The best option was to wait. There was a chance that she could mess things up even more.
With a head buried in her knees, she closed her eyes, drowning in the sound of the lively conversation.
#novel #fiction #romance
Chapter 17: Discovery and Exploration Pt.2 (The Chronicles of Time)
Natsumi stood there, jaw dropped and her eyes about to fall out of their sockets.
The resemblance was uncanny. It could be that there was another person who just had the same face, the same walking style, and the same hint of derision on his curved lips. But the longer her eyes remained on him, the harder it was to not be convinced—it was Yuu! No doubt! But what was he doing here?
Shouldn’t he be in class?!
Why was he not looking at her? How could he not recognize her? It was strange how none of the people she met so far didn’t acknowledge her presence. At first, that strangeness was helpful. Not only did people not see her there, she didn’t have to talk with anyone. An unknown land, unfamiliar language, foerign people; if forced to interact, how could she manage to talk without being arrested and treated like some shady character? However, now that she saw Yuu, why didn’t he even spare her a glance?
He walked past Natsumi and replied, “Well, it was quite boring just staying in the room. What did you want me to do? Search for you?”
“I’m pretty sure that you weren’t alone in the room,” the saintess addressed the first part of his comment, and patted him on the shoulder. “And if you did search for me, you would be perfectly fine. Sure, the temple hates you and even a strand of your hair is not accepted here, but you could still enter without them noticing. Those old fools won’t even know you’re strolling around the holy territory; they’re too busy grinding their teeth, sharpening their claws for the day they can tear you apart.”
“That’s very reassuring,” he laughed.
“Well, where is he?” Besides him, there was no one else there that was visible to her eye. She approached the table with the flimsy castle leaving him behind. With every step she took it was on the verge of collapsing, shaking, as if she was an earthquake heading its way. With a flick of a finger, its structure caved in. “If you’re here, no doubt he has come as well.”
“I’m right here.” At that moment, she could see a towering shadow cover her. Large hands wrapped themselves around her waist and her feet lifted off the ground. “Did you miss me, saintess?”
“Don’t call me that and put me down.” She said, paying no mind to his words filled with affection. “Aren’t you two getting too tall? What if you end up like a beanstalk?”
“‘End up as a beanstalk’ as in being chopped down?” Cassius replied.
“I’m sure that won’t ever happen to you two, but no, that’s not what I meant.” She slapped his hand and was released. “I meant as tall as one. It would be nice to see you get chopped down, though.”
“And I’m sure you’ll be the one holding the ax.” He said with a smirk. She returned the smirk and then turned back to face the other person behind her. If Cassius was the moon, then that person was the sun. Brilliant rich blonde hair, and pale blue-ish gray eyes. His physique was about the same as the other with a sword attached to his hip side. His short hair fell to his eyes as he leaned down. Looking at all three of them almost blinded Natsumi’s eyes. Compared to their looks, although she didn’t fall short, she still felt that she was rather lacking in some areas. Perhaps it was the divine glow that they all emit?
Judging by the lax manner they talked to each other in, it was easy to guess that they were close. The saintess’s gentle manner was thrown away, like a cloth covering a jewel. But in this case the word ‘jewel’ wasn’t appropriate. Instead of a jewel she was more of a rock.
Strong, and rough.
“Well, why did you both come anyways?”
“The knights were too annoying.”
“The old geezers were too annoying.”
Both the saintess and Natsumi almost toppled over at their almost identical response. “...hahh…really! Is the holy temple some sort of playground to you both? You can’t always come and go as you please!”
“I thought that you enjoyed our company?” Cassius said, tilting his head.
“Of course I do! Do you know how stiff I always am, trapped in this place?! It’s always ‘saintess this’ or, ‘saintess that’, and then I have to smile and be some sort of ethereal angel. Truly aggravating!” The three listened to her rant relentlessly with aversion. The life of a saintess, turns out, was more difficult than Natsumi imagined. Seeming unsightly, the saintess took a deep breath and coughed once, schooling her expression. “Anyways, just because I’m cooped up in here, doesn’t mean that you two can just barge in here at your own leisure!”
“Yes, ma’am.” They both said together. Cassius rolled his eyes and Mikhael nodded. Their attitudes contrasted greatly.
Natsumi continued to listen in as the saintess reprimanded the two with constant warnings while stuffing in complaints about how boring her life was at the temple. Looking at the three now, they looked like three teenagers chatting away. No matter how noble their status was, at the present they were just themselves with no formal atmosphere restricting them. Well, it wasn’t as if Cassius would face any restrictions. He was just like Yuu, saying whatever he wanted, doing whatever he wanted. If one were to displease him or restrain him, they would be blasted into pieces.
Their mindset is exactly the same!!
His bold hectic stories of his life at the magic tower made his two companions shake their heads at him and sigh. Even Natsumi (who they couldn’t see) did the same. The person called Mikhael, on the other hand, seemed to be more tame and obedient. He wasn’t as unruly or as unreasonable as Cassius. He was the captain of the knights of the first division—the strongest knight unit in the entire kingdom! To see such impressive figures lounging before her, Natsumi was truly stunned. Beneath the responsibilities they carried, they were just normal teens who wanted to laze around and live freely! Before, they had all seemed to be like huge unshakeable pillars built up with imposing titles and a majestic air, now they had none of that.
There were times where she would laugh at the jokes they made or try to poke them as they discussed serious subjects and made satires out of them. It was mostly just Cassius turning them into mockery. For example, one of them would bring up the emperor and nitpick everything that he’s done wrong and Cassius would say: “Emperor? More like a dumbass. The guy thought he was doing everyone a favor by conquering the Kingdom of Liona, but really he’s just a dumb old geezer waiting to die and have his name ingrained in history. He can’t even run his own ‘empire’ properly. Just wait till he fucks up not one—but two kingdoms. Ha!”
The other two couldn’t argue with him; every word he said hit right on point. It was too true to be called lies. The Trucia empire was once an empire filled with glory. But over the years, it couldn’t even be called an empire anymore! Almost all the countries it once ruled over revolted and separated from the empire, therefore its size diminished. The once mighty empire that made kingdoms tremble now crumbled down to the point when king’s mention the name they would be filled with laughs right after. Even the emperor was no longer called the emperor, but instead, debased to a king!
However, the saintess was changed, and legendary heroes and figures arose over a short period of time in the ‘empire’. Truly a change for the better.
‘The Legendary Knight who Rained Flowers’, ‘The Almighty Magician Covered in Flames But as Cold as Ice’, and last, but not least–‘The Breathtaking Saintess who Could Revive the Dead’.
Having three powerful people alive at the same time, the same age, and residing in that very same empire that was declining, it was a once in a millenia opportunity for the empire to rise again from its ashes! They were to be feared, revered, and admired. But such people with tremendous power weren’t easily manipulated. The emperor couldn’t even control their actions. To think that such young people had more influence than the emperor himself, he had no choice but to cower at the sight of them and bow his head in fear for the possibility that they might be offended and choose to destroy the empire themselves.
Fortunately, as long as the three were unbothered and no troubles came their way, they were content and carried out their duties. Because of this, the people thought that the emperor had power over them and they extolled him with great fervor. But of course, there are those who didn’t like the thought of a scummy emperor ‘controlling’ the three. Even with such tremendous power, they were still, nonetheless, children who hadn’t even come of age yet. In reality, they were only seventeen.
“Sometimes, I just wish we could blow up this kingdom.” Cassius leaned back.
The saintess smiled. “You mean ‘empire’?”
They erupted into laughter fraught with ridicule.
In the empire, when the three were mentioned, people would say, “the saintess is the most angelic out of the three”. Given her position as “saintess”, they were plausible words. Out of the three, she was the only female, and the only one who didn’t wield her powers as a weapon. But to think that her personality was so similar to the others!
Natsumi was going to listen in more but suddenly a clear voice rang in her head.
She stopped giggling.
#novel #fiction #romance
My hands tied up as the hand begins to move me
The audience that cheers just won’t leave me be
The clapping sounds, cheering, craving for more
All that’s ahead of me is a closed door
The string that I’m bound to, unable to escape
I’m the butterfly stuck in a spider’s tape
Don’t call for me, I won’t answer
But of course, I have no choice, I’m a dancer
Enduring humiliation my entire life
Constantly being perforated by a knife
My life hanging on a fragile rope,
as I gripped onto a ray of hope
When the curtain draws and cheers are heard,
another exquisite play began to be recurred
I hastily tuck away my life-like eyes
Look here, the dolls legs begins to rise
The puppet play that you enjoyed so much,
is its purpose to degrade me and such?
I abhor you, but yet my heart beats,
just because you’re in one of those seats
Your eyes observes me while my heart leap
The darkness around me starts to creep
I only want to gain your attention,
while ignoring others admiration
Even though I am just a empty doll,
I ask you, do you love me at all?
I’m confused why I end up loving my torturer
Are you, perhaps, a sorcerer?
Chapter 16: Discovery And Exploration Pt.1 (The Chronicles of Time)
Yuu’s hands flew across her frantically. His brows pushing down on his eyes and contorting his face into pain and washed with anxiety. He desperately prayed inside his head, chanting the same words over and over again.
‘Please wake up! Please work!’
It had been a long time since he had become so troubled. Normally, he would have a calm and sinuous demeanor, however, now his mind was balancing on the brink of insanity. He was on thin fucking ice!
“Hahhh…just why is this such a mess?” He threw his hands into the air. “Why does it have to be even worse in this life? Can’t it just give up already?!”
No reply was said. The room was once again empty, and the fairy was sent to bed to recharge her mana after depleting her supply. Only his crabbed roars could be heard in the cold house. It’s been days and he could already feel the house turn empty. Before it would be so lively, and now he was cooped in here, having to focus all his concentration on Natsumi! If he just took a single step away her body would suddenly be engulfed in large masses of mana!
“Why is it so annoying? Why isn’t she waking up already?!” He swiped and blasted with fury at her body, knowing full well that it wouldn’t harm her. With every attack, he put his anger and frustration into it. If anyone were to see this scene they would’ve thought that he went mad. He looked completely outrageous!
But then a flicker of light stopped him.
He carefully crouched down beside her and his eyes turned round. His pupils shrank and without knowing it, his hands started trembling as they reached towards that tiny speck of light. It wandered around him and paused. Despite its bright appearance, it was calm and drifted around in the air with no destination in mind.
He immediately darted towards that light and caged it inside his hands, shaking violently. It didn’t protest and just sat there in his palms when he slowly opened it up.
Dread immediately replaced his fury.
“Go back. Now!” He demanded loudly. “Go back! Don’t leave on your own choice! Go back!”
The light seemed to be tilting its body, confused at the words he was shouting at it.
“Return back, now!”
Akira was seated in front of the large and glamorous throne, once again, waiting patiently for its master to arrive. After a while, his ears perked up, hearing light footsteps heading towards the chamber. He instantly tidied himself.
“Hahh…you again?” An exasperated groan slipped out of his lips. “Haven’t I already tossed you out plenty of times? Why are you so determined?”
Akira had asked to leave the house with permission granted from Natsumi so he was absent for the past couple of days. He would barge into his domain everyday and attempt to persuade him relentlessly only to be kicked out in the end. The message was delivered loud and clear: “Don’t ever come back again!” Ignoring his threats and demands, he persistently returns every few hours to heckle him. Both of their minds remained impervious until one gave in.
It wasn’t that he hadn’t tried to berate him and increase his security, but that pup would always find a way to break that enchantment and still walk in! Truly aggravating! If it was anyone else, forget about even waltzing in so casually, they’d be blown into smithereens the second they’re within a five kilometer radius!
“I know that you love master!” Akira said boldly.
What was up with this kid?! The first thing he always says are the same words! With the same. Stupid. Proud face!!
He facepalmed himself, about to cry.
‘Please just go home!’
“Really, why do you keep on repeating the same sentence over and over again?” His voice filled with vexation. “Why bother?”
“Because…!” It was a good question. Why does he bother? It was very obvious that he wasn’t welcomed, and even just a single thread of his robe was a provocation. “...because….”
“See? You have nothing to say, right? So just scram already,” he waved his hand in a ‘shoo shoo’ gesture. But the boy did not budge and just sat there, his face scrunched up and a fist on his chin. “Hahh…really, I’m telling you that it’s pointless to even try to convince me. Just render it as a form of gratitude from this ancestor to let you leave this easily. Boy, I have not interfered with the human world for centuries now. What do you think the gods would say if I suddenly appeared and meddled with the family that I created? It would be outrageous! A scandal! A god relieving the curse that they brought upon their descendants? Ridiculous! It would be a violation of the rules!”
While he said those words, his feet carried him to the steps of the throne that transformed itself into a glorious golden divan with comfortable cushions. He sat himself upon it and laid down in a leisure manner, his hands reaching to grab the bowl of fruits next to him. Sharp fangs were exposed when he opened his mouth, dangling a vine of grapes in front of the entrance.
“So, just give up. It’s useless.” He chewed on the fruit, tapping his cheek with his fingers with a raised eyebrow.
“Because master needs you!” Akira shouted out of nowhere.
He almost toppled off the divan. Was this boy still stuck on that question?! “What? She doesn’t need me, she has you!”
“I-I…” he jammed his eyes shut and rolled his hands into fists by his side. He jumped to his feet. “L-like you said before, t-this guard is useless and worthless! I couldn’t even exterminate a single vermin that crawled up to master! So–”
That grasped his attention.
“Vermin?” He slowly rose, dropping the fruit into the bowl. Every word he said was articulated loudly. “Which vermin dares to approach her that you can’t get rid of?”
A violent undulation of spiritual energy was blasted throughout the room. His crystal blue eyes glowed frighteningly, and his smooth hands turned fierce with long sharpened claws. Akira stood still then bowed with his right hand over his chest.
“T-there’s this magician…he calls himself ‘Yuu’.” Akira began. The pressure of the spiritual power made his body feel heavy. “He latched himself onto master. This servant was not able to witness their exact meeting, but I felt a powerful presence in the house that day. Ever since then, master and that magician grew close and became fond of each other’s company.”
Hearing those words almost made him speechless. “...Just how powerful is this person?”
“...I can’t even begin to estimate his power level,” Akira spat, not wanting to admit it.
He exhaled and rubbed his temple, slowly seating himself back down. His legs were spread, and he leaned back so his head rested on the headboard. “...I must see this person for myself.”
He walked towards her silently, then carefully covered her eyes with his large hands. “Guess who it is?”
The tips of her ears turned red. “...Tsukasa-kun?”
His hands fell and he chuckled. “How did you know?”
“Because you’re the only person who could do something like this to me right now.” She replied back with a grin. With a swift hand, she used her hair to cover her ears, afraid that he might notice it. But it was too late.
“Was it cold outside?” He took a seat next to her. His words seemed to be more casual for some reason.
“Not really,” she replied. “Also…thank you, for yesterday.”
“For the food?” He smiled. Rays of light could be seen from his back. He looked like a delicate blossom blooming. The charm! It was hard to look at him without fawning!
“No,” she shook her head and returned the smile. “For throwing the rock yesterday.”
His face froze for a split second. Tsukasa-kun quickly tilted his head. “Hm? What rock?”
She turned away from him with a light laugh. “It’s alright if you don’t want to acknowledge it. I’ll thank you either way.”
“...then I’ll have to accept that ‘thank you’ even if I wasn’t the benefactor.” The side of his lips curved up even more.
“Oh, right!” Her sudden action startled him and his eyes grew round, his shoulders tense. Their hands met, hers on top of his. He could feel her warmth. But what made him tremble even more was that wholehearted glow in her honey-colored eyes that he could not turn away from. “I don’t have lunch today, do you have extra food?”
Ah. She was still stuck here. When her eyes fluttered open, she had hoped to see a different scenery.
It was the same pitch black darkness!!
One of her eyes drooped, and she collapsed back onto the ground. Why was she still stuck here? Wasn’t sleep always the answer to escaping somewhere unfamiliar? Like in the movies! Isn’t this a dream?!
At the very least, she could scout the area again to see if there were any new changes. Maybe a ray of hope will reveal itself!
And at that very moment, a ray of hope did show itself. Bright beams of light cracked the darkness, making it break apart like pieces of glass. Intrigued, she rose to her feet and headed in that direction. Once she stepped over to the other side, she found herself in a white glamorous hall. From the wall to the ground, everything seemed to be made out of white limestone. The surface was smooth and cold. Her fingers left the wall, and she continued to walk in the only direction provided.
Perhaps that space responded to her wish and did let her out.
But where was this?!
After a while, Natsumi could hear lively chattering and soft but calm music.
“Sister Adelaide, you truly are the best! I have been longing for the secret of obtaining clear skin.” A chirpy voice said. Natsumi paused. It was a language she wasn’t familiar with, but somehow she could understand it and soaked up their speech like it was natural.
Another person let out a loud sigh. Her voice gave away her exhausted mood. “Truly, the temple can’t be this poor? I’m sure the noble families donate millions of gold coins, but where have they all gone?”
Some of them chuckled while others also shared her sigh. A group of young women came to view. They wore long white robes, obscuring their young and dainty figure. J Judging by their faces, they couldn’t be more than fifteen! But the way they held themselves, the way they spoke, it was all so elegant. Just when they were about to reach her, they paused.
Automatically, they all lowered their heads concurrently and said: “We greet the saintess. May you bless the Trucia empire and continue to scatter your blessing.”
Natsumi froze. ‘Saintess? Are they talking to me?!’
But just then, another figure walked out from behind her and gestured for them to get up with a gentle wave of a hand. Her beauty was dazzling, and her steps were light as a feather. Long shiny locks of gold flowed behind her. Natsumi had to stop her hands from touching them with a slap. Round, but sharp blue eyes, as beautiful as a blue sapphire. Compared to all the other girls she saw before, this saintess’s countenance was unparalleled. Just a single glance at her, one would fall onto their knees and claim that they’ve encountered a goddess in person!
“How has your training been?” A pleasant and amiable voice made all their shoulders relax. Her words were as sweet as sugar, as warm as a mother addressing her daughter.
“I-it has been a pleasure to train at a temple that your holiness is residing in!” The others quickly nodded. Their eyes sparkled with excitement, their mood, simply elated! It was an honor to even encounter the saintess! Her brilliant silk robes with a white lily flower pinned on her chest indicated her identity clearly. Even without the robe and the flower, it would’ve been a conspicuous fact either way. But to think that the renowned saintess was to be around their age?!
Only the saintess would be so gorgeous and graceful that they couldn’t even hear her footsteps! The angelic smile, the refined posture, it was the ideal image of how a true saint should look like!
As if she could read their minds (and it wasn’t very hard to tell from their eager expressions) the saintess gave another smile and said: “I hope that you enjoy your time here.”
With that, she left as swift and as silent as she had come. The girls stared after her in awe. Natsumi, however, quickly followed after her, enchanted. Seeing how the whole scene played out, none of the characters even noticed that she was standing there. Like she was invisible.
Dashing after the saintess was not an easy feat. How was such a stunning girl who appeared to be delicate, so fast? Her steps were as agile as a butterfly, and she passed many other people who wore the same white robes. They weren’t even able to get a single glance at her before she disappeared. When they turned their head back, they saw nothing, so they could only blame that suspicious motion on the wind.
The temple was huge. There would be long hallways held up by large pillars–once again, made my limestone–exposed to the sunlight. ‘Small’ gardens and lawns could be seen, with ponds and fountains littered everywhere. It was quite a sight! The only word that could be used to describe it was “heavenly”.
She arrived in front of a tall and marvelous door made out of marble. It was a quiet area, no one could be heard or seen. The saintess pushed the door open with a low rumble and Natsumi hurriedly squeezed in before the door was shut behind her.
The room was about ten times bigger than her own! But most of it was just empty space. A large bed sat at the end of the room with two nightstands beside it and a gold candle stand. Although there were no windows, the room was bright with glitters of energy. Oddly, there was a large fountain in another room connected to this one, and a tiny ‘drip drip’ could be heard echoing throughout the room. In fact, it looked to be more of a pool. It seemed to be a bathing space. But this big?! At least a hundred men could practically fit in there!
As if she was already used to such luxury, she turned to face a lonely corner occupied by a tiny wooden table. On top of that table was a tiny castle built out of paper. The saintess sighed.
The second she finished talking, a tall black figure appeared behind them.
That same mischievous smirk, and the way he held his head loftily. His red eyes filled with amusement and his hands positioned at his waist lazily. The way his robes swayed with each step he took, all seemed too familiar! His long black satiny hair, and the casual way he walked!
She could never mistake it…!
“Really, you must’ve been bored out of your mind to play with paper, Cassius.”
No matter how many times Natsumi looked, she could only see Yuu!
#novel #fiction #romance
Chapter 15: Himari’s Battle
It was dark. Everywhere she turned around was black. She could call out any word and it’ll echo back at her and fade away over time. How long has it been since she’s been stuck in this place? It felt like eons passed by and all she had done was walk around and end up in a familiar setting. She could’ve been anywhere else, doing anything else, but she just had to somehow be trapped in this never ending abyss.
Forget the fact that the setting was confusing, it was creepy as well! Even if she didn’t make a single peep, she would still hear faint voices. And everytime they appeared, she would chase after the source frantically only to run in circles, returning empty-handed; her progress of escaping remained stagnant. Exactly how much time had passed? Without knowing when, she got used to everything, and sprawled out on the dark floor. Her white dress also fell and created the image of large flower petals surrounding her. Her bare feet felt the cold floor then shrank back, retreating back to her side.
Then after a while her eyes drew to a close. Surprisingly, it was comfortable. Compared to reality, she didn’t have to worry about completing work and making sure things were turned in on time, nor did she have to carry the burdens that suppressed her daily. Not having to care about anything…was actually a nice and unfamiliar feeling.
‘But…it’s too quiet.’
With a silent gasp, and large eyes, she knew she messed up somewhere. The answers on her sheet weren't right! Well, this was a surprise. It wasn’t everyday that she would see herself slip up and make a wrong turn to land herself with incorrect answers. However, it wasn’t the right time to start pondering about the last time she messed up.
She quickly propped her elbow on the side of the desk, then raised a hand to her head, pulling her hair as a curtain to cover her paper. After making sure that he wasn’t sparing any glances at her, she quickly erased everything and redid the problems. This time—after many corrections and confirmations—the results were all correct.
Thankfully, everyone else had their noses stuck in their textbooks and was still left behind in her dust. She berated herself for quite a while inside her head. How could she make such a major mistake? It was such a simple problem as well. Just what she was thinking about?
Well…romance certainly played a huge role in her life. It has driven her crazy and off track. Just knowing that Tsukasa was sitting next to her already got her on her toes. She had to stifle yawns, and nail her neck so that her head faced the direction of the board without falling in the slightest. It was difficult to accurately portray the perfect image of a top student, but she put more effort into it than any other day. Her posture was poised, perfect, elegant, and stunning to the point where the teachers would walk in and see a halo above her head and rub their eyes.
But that attitude ended shortly.
Within five minutes, her dignified stance broke down and she grumbled under the amount of work that was placed in front of her. How could she survive one more second without Natsumi?
‘I’m dying under a mountain of work!’ She cried. She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. How could she slack off in front of her crush?! If Natsumi was here, she would cover for her instantly, without a second of contemplation. But now, what was left to cover? It’d be strange that he hadn’t realized her struggles by now, especially since there were times where she exhaled loudly with exasperation, attracting all eyes in the room.
Just how much of her dignity remained?
In fact, it would’ve been better if Natsumi was present. It would just be like any other day, and she could do whatever she wanted without fear of judgment. But now she was walking on thin ice with her romance life on the line! She was pretty confident that she failed and left a bad impression upon him.
The bell rang loudly, and she was wiped out. Under that much stress, how could anyone relax?
‘Maybe I overreacted too much,’ she thought. Since Yuu was occupied and was playing the role of a nurse, lunch was not prepared these last few days. Unexpectedly, the number of days that Yuu and Natsumi were absent was the amount of days that Tsukasa sat next to her. The teachers never noticed it either, nor did anyone dare snitch. It could be that he pitied her and felt sympathy, but he would offer her candy every morning and chat with her until class started. If this was a dream, she wished she would forever drown in those moments and never open her eyes.
“Aikawa?” He turned to her, unwrapping his bento. “Do you not have lunch again?”
“Haha…yeah,” she replied and flashed a smile. “But it’s fine! I’ll just go to the cafeteria again…huh?”
Her wallet was empty. Vacant. Nothing. Her eyes popped out of her skull, her hands dug through every inch of the wallet to find that there was truly no money! Not even a single cent!!
She jolted and snapped her wallet shut. “N-nothing! Don’t worry about it, Tsukasa-kun. I-I’ll be heading to the cafeteria now to…to get something!”
Before he could say anything more, she escaped hurriedly, with only one thought in mind. She had to reach Sora! Ducking behind a wall, she pulled out her cell phone and dialed his number. It didn’t even take a few buzzes for him to reject the call.
“This–!” She was offended beyond words. “What–? H-how could he?!”
He tapped her shoulder, leaning against the window railing. “Aikawa?”
Her life flashed before her eyes and her phone was thrown into the air. He caught it just in time as she jumped up in fright. “T-Tsukasa-kun? W-what are you doing here?”
“That’s what I should be asking you. I thought you went to the cafeteria, so why are you hiding here?”
Just a glance at her face, one could deduce what happened. He cleared his throat and handed her the phone. “Truthfully, I was looking for you.”
“Y-yeah…I packed too much for lunch today and I thought that I’d share some with you.” He smiled. “O-oh, but I only thought of it because I really only know you. If you don’t mind…?”
How could she say no when he asked her so gently? She nodded without even knowing, enchanted. “O-of course! Sure! My pleasure!”
“Then…let’s head back.” Tsukasa reached for her hand. She froze at the gesture but carefully clamped her hand on his and was pulled through the window and into the hallway. They walked back to the classroom, their hands still clasped together, having no signs of breaking apart until they sat down. Tsukasa, belatedly realizing this, quickly released her with an apology. “S-sorry, I didn’t realize that I was still holding onto you.”
“N-no it’s fine!” She said, bashfully. Both of their faces flushed then they regained their senses and corrected their composure. “Thank you for the food!”
It hasn’t been long since she was rejected so casually. The memory was a blur, but the meaning was simple and harsh. She had no chance; it was futile to pursue such a hopeless love. But she couldn’t restrain her heart from pounding for him. Perhaps the days that he was gone was a blessing—an opportunity to forget such a person. But she could still taste the bitterness and the embarrassment she endured that day! How humiliating! She suddenly became a laughingstock to them!
Fortunately, the matter was not circulated and she was saved from shame.
The more she focused on the subject, the more she thought that they were silently warning her. Just like plucking a poisoned seed before it could blossom into a toxic flower. It couldn’t possibly be that they somehow found out about her deed! She left no traces behind…unless they were tipped? But who could’ve seen her place such an object?
‘I was so sure that there was no one around!’ Contemplating on the matter was no use. Why did it matter anyway? It was best to just give up. ‘But I still can’t forgive them! Such a nasty method!’
As if inviting her and crushing her hopes wasn’t enough. They just had to blatantly point out that her efforts will never pay off and act innocent.
However at that moment, she bumped into someone that she least desired to see.
She raised her head and her brows twitched. But considering her reputation, she had no choice but to flash a polite smile. “Aikawa-san, it’s been a while.”
Those words were clearly said through gritted teeth but she ignored the reluctance behind them and grinned. “Really? We’ve always been in the same class though?”
“True, but we don’t talk much during school though?”
They exchanged smiles. “Well, what are you up to, Aoko-san? Is the student council busy lately?”
“Yes, the cultural festival is coming up after all,” she replied with a sigh. “It would be nice to have a more productive team, pity that you rejected our offer to join the council.”
“Oh, no!” Himari waved her hand dismissively. “I wouldn’t dare dream of it. After all, aren’t the student council members extraordinary people? They’re practically in the position of a saint! I don’t enjoy that type of particular work. I’m a very bad person after all.”
Her smile faltered and her curved lips twitched. “...not at all! Many people say Aikawa-san is like a delicate angel who descended from the sky, blessing everyone with luck and boosting their morale. So how could you be a bad person?”
After roughly translating her words into sharp knives that are carved into: “ Angel? What a laugh! They don’t know how evil you are!”, Himari chuckled lightly.
“Please, you’re flattering me! If anything, people just don’t know how kind you are!”
She didn’t even need to think twice to know she definitely knew what she had done. “...you—”
Her words were cut short. Boisterous calls rang throughout the street and loud stomps headed their way. From the sound of the steps, they could tell that the owners of those feet were rowdy and no good. But who would’ve thought that they had to be dragged into trouble?
“Hey! Isn’t that Aoko?”
“You’re right!” Another person said. A raucous party entered. They circled around the two girls like wolves cornering prey.
“Aoko, it’s been a while hasn’t it?” Snide chuckles spread through the group of boys. “How have you been faring? Did you miss us?”
It was obvious that such a vulgar person was the leader of the whole gang. The other boys only encouraged his words and boosted his ego as he continued to spit out words of familiarity.
Aoko-san remained silent while Himari scrutinized the newcomers with detest.
“Oh? And who is this beauty?” They began to walk around Himari, examining her to their own leisure like she was a statue. One of them reached out to touch her hair but before they could even feel the tips, a fast blur knocked his hand away. Only she heard the tiny ‘clack’s’ that followed after the attack, like a small object was thrown. “Feisty!”
“Aoko, are you that happy to see us that you’re stunned speechless?” Laughter bursted and they took turns touching her and even pushing her around. She remained silent and allowed herself to be tossed around like a lifeless toy.
No matter how much grudge Himari had against her, she knew clearly that bullying a girl in such a method was wrong. Bullying girls using any method was wrong! It did seem hypocritical to her to save an enemy, but she couldn’t help but feel sympathy. Especially since those boys were just absolutely disgusting.
“Aoko-san, didn’t we have to go to the library?” Himari spoke up, and grabbed the other’s wrist tightly.
“Hey, where are you trying to run away to?” The leader said fiercely, and slapped Himari’s hand away. “We aren’t done talking to her yet.”
“Why should she even bother talking to slugs like you?” She sneered. That pricked them and they directed their full attention to her instead. She continued to raise her head high and rolled her hands into fists. “Besides, why are you targeting her? If she did anything wrong to you all before I bet you deserved it. If anything, it would’ve been better if she tried to wipe you all off the Earth. Such ugly people like you—as if having terrible looks wasn’t bad enough, you just had to be born with nasty personalities as well. It really suits you.”
That was the last straw. They had listened to her insults with faces about to burst. She was seized by her neck and slammed against the brick wall with such force! Ringing echoed throughout her head but she gritted her teeth and bit back her yell.
“You’re just a girl! Who do you think you are, talking to us like that?”
“Yeah! Shouldn’t you stay silent and stay in the kitchen?”
“What? Did I say anything wrong?” She mustered out a laugh and the most despiteful look she had. “Oh wait! I didn’t! Instead I missed something. Not only are you all ugly inside and out, you can’t get any girls I bet! Ha! Truly—ack!”
The leader of the pack didn’t hesitate to throw her against the wall again. Such display of viciousness, and on a girl at that! Veins popped from his forehead and he snarled at her while the rest of the boys copied him. They cracked their knuckles and cocked their heads with glares. She could slowly feel her feet leaving the ground and the hand wrapped around her neck growing tighter and tighter. Her piercing stare never left her face as her feet dangled and kicked. Her hands wrapped themselves around his arm, pushing him to put more force in his attack.
“Come…on…why don’t you…kill me…huh?” She bared her teeth, provoking him even more. “You…wimp! Ha…! A fool…can’t even…beat…a girl…ack! Agh!”
“Oh. I’ll. Give. You. What. You. Wished. For!” The pressure around her neck increased and she couldn’t help but dig her nails into his arm. He winced, but such an insult from a girl made him rage.
“Stop it.” A cool voice said.
“Huh?” He jeered at the sight of her menacing glare. His grip around her neck never loosened. “Or what? What can you do? Don’t forget, if it wasn’t for us, you would be dead already! So just shut up and lick our shoes like you’ve always done!”
“I said, stop it.” Aoko-san repeated, asserting more dominance. With a loud crack! He fell onto the floor, howling in pain, hugging his arm. Cold sweat rolled down his face and his eyes bulged. A ugly patch of red started to form in the middle of his arm. Or what appeared to be his arm.
His friends surrounded him with panic and terror. It all happened in an instant. Himari didn’t know whether to be startled or relieved that her neck was released.
“We need to get you treated, quick!”
“You…bastard! You…pretended…agh!...to be weak!” He yelled, biting down hard on his teeth. Cold eyes met his murderous ones and he was silenced with just one sweep.
“Scram,” she commanded. They froze, then rage broke out on their faces.
“How dare you tell us to scram!”
“Who do you think you are?!”
But those protests were quickly drowned out after seeing the miserable state their leader was in. They had no choice but to leave after declaring that they wouldn’t let such an incident slide without a rematch.
After seeing their retreating backs disappear, she turned to face Himari who knelt on the ground, gasping for air and coughing. “You…nevermind.”
She coughed then patted her chest lightly. “...Aoko-san, just who were those people?”
“Do you have any right to dig into my personal life?”
She couldn’t help but laugh weakly. “Well…if that’s how it is I won’t ask anymore.”
“...Shouldn’t you thank me for saving you?”
Himari gave her a weird look. “Thank you? Shouldn’t you be thanking me for trying to get you out of the situation?”
They both fell silent and began a stubborn match of death stare. It was a while until they snapped out of it, a draw, and Himari stood up and dusted herself off.
Before she walked away, she looked over her shoulder slightly and said, “Well, just so you know, you aren’t that bad of a person, Aoko-san.”
She scoffed at the unexpected words. “Same could be said to you.”
Chapter 14: Yuu’s New Occupation (Distraction)
Her head kept bobbing and her gaze kept dipping from the board and onto her lap unconsciously. The pencil slipped out of her grasp repeatedly. In order to stay awake, she had to blink continuously and fixate her eyes on the board and her ears on the teacher’s words about mundane affairs instead of zoning out. Her mind kept drifting away to a hazy image of her bed. She had to use her hand as support to keep her face up and straight forward.
“...and that is the end for today. For homework be sure to read chapters nine to ten. Your assignment is to write an essay about what you have learned on the topic and why it’s imperative such events occurred in history.”
“Yes, Kenta-sensei.” They all chanted together. After receiving a bow from his students, he left the classroom. The moment they saw the hem of his shirt vanish behind the door, they all relaxed. Chatter commenced in a swift manner, the thought that they had a limited amount of time for break remained as a reminder for them to take advantage of it as much as they could.
Himari shot a quick glimpse at Natsumi then peeked back at Yuu. He looked up from his paper and gave her a slight nod. She jabbed her thumb in the direction next to her and he drew his lips and turned away surly. Knowing him for a while now, it was obvious that the word “morose” defined him currently, but it didn’t only apply to him.
“Wha–?” Outraged by his reaction she tried to capture his attention and redirect it to Natsumi multiple times throughout the period only for those attempts to become failures.
“Why should I worry about her?” He grumbled, chomping down his chocolate pocky. The thin snack broke each time he chomped down on it with a loud ‘pock!’. It was now lunchbreak. They lounged in the hallway in order to escape from Natsumi’s ears. “She didn’t even appreciate my concern for her, so why should I care? Even gave me an attitude too.”
“I understand that but…” her head drooped. “Well, Akira isn’t here since he’s off doing whatever spirit things he has to do, so you’re really the only one we can count on.”
A tiny smile formed on his face. “...is that so?”
“Y-yeah!” She clasped her hands together. “So, please Lord Yuu, who’s so magnanimous and benevolent; this pitiful servant begs you to lend a hand!”
His chin was pointed towards the sky and he had no choice but to be the good-natured person he is. “Well…I have no choice but to give into your earnest and sincere pleading.”
‘Ugh, this guy is too easy.’ She shriveled inside her mind.
It was hard to not notice that her complexion didn’t look good to him–especially since his gaze was always drawn to her direction. But today she was off. Her whole body looked sluggish and every time she almost gave into fatigue or whatever force that had made her so tired, she would snap awake. It was pretty amusing to see her in a trance then rush to pretend that she was paying attention to class. However, his tenderness towards girls wouldn’t allow him to just sit and do anything. So when the coast was clear, he rushed to grab his chance.
“I-Izanami-sa-no, Izanami, are you alright?”
She nodded. “Yeah…yeah I’m alright.”
“You don’t look so well, would you like me to send you to the nurse's office?”
“No, I’m fine. I’m fine…” Her words trailed off but she kept mumbling the same words like a broken robot. “Fine…fine…I’m…fine.”
“You don’t seem alright. Here let me—”
“No, it’s fine.” And this time it wasn’t her who insisted.
His hand flinched. Yuu stopped him before he could move any further.
“What are you doing, Tsukasa-kun?” He gnarred. His reproachful eyes looked at his hands that were so close to her.
“Izanami doesn’t seem to be feeling well so—”
“I’ll take care of her.” He interrupted, curtly. Their eyes were glued to each other intensely then he faltered.
“Alright, I’ll entrust Izanami to you…. You do know her better compared to me.” It took him a bit to gather himself and return to his seat with a grudging smile. It was to be expected. His relationship with her couldn’t be compared to his.
“Let’s get you up.” Yuu wrapped one of her arms around his neck and hauled her up. Himari rushed to help and took up her other arm. Together, they carried her carefully out of the classroom with many stares and whispers of a mixture of worry and curiosity. It was only when they arrived at the vacant nurse’ office that they settled her down in a chair.
Himari bit her lip anxiously. “What should we do?”
“I’ll take her home.” He replied. She was fast asleep and didn’t seem to be aware of what was going on. “I’ll invoke doppelgangers to take our place. You get back to class, I’ll handle it from here.”
When she left, he lifted Natsumi up in his arms. He could feel his heart palpitate at the short distance between them. If he leaned in a bit more…no! What was he thinking? It was inappropriate for him to think of such things with a defenseless and a sleeping person!
He gulped and took a deep breath. The image of his room appeared in his mind and he concentrated his every thought into it. When he opened his eyes he found himself at his desired destination. Setting her down on his bed was a struggle. It was hard to not just throw her into it, and it was even harder to not yell at her to wake up. It would be funny to him, but it wouldn’t be right to her. But right now, the more important matter should be taken care of first.
“Why is it unwinding after I sealed it not so long ago?” He put a hand to his chin as he sat at the edge of the bed, examining her mana flow. It was about to gush out again. Her condition looked to be about the same as what occurred before, yet the strings of mana flying out her was bizarre. It was thin, but sharp. Just one touch made his finger become scratched and start to bleed.
Her audacity to sleep in his presence made him chuckle. “If I didn’t help you, you would be dead by now.”
After coating his hands in his own mana he plunged into business. Twisting and untangling, then yanking all the ‘corruption’ out of her was hard labor. If one was not careful enough and attentive to his work, everything would’ve gone wrong. Large mana circles spun around her body and kept her attacks in check—acting as a protection shield. He could count the number of times when she tried to kill him—without her even knowing—on his fingers if they were multiplied by hundreds. She fell into convulsions, but even through all of that, her eyes remained firmly shut. As difficult as it was for him to handle all her incessant attacks, he did his best to relieve her pain by casting a spell simultaneously to act as a form of anesthetic. On the other end, Natsumi’s face would smooth out then break and twist in pain with fat drops of sweat pouring out of her. She would groan, and mumble words that he couldn’t understand throughout time.
He clapped his hands together, dusting off the remnants of his magic when he was finished.
“Extra strong seal? Check. Seems to be more durable than the last,” he mumbled while placing his hands on each seal and pressing magic against it to test their strengths, “that’s good. Now, recovery magic? Check. Gotta add some more mana into this one….Aha! Shield is a bit off. There! Now…with some more…mana…there! It’ll last for a while. Hopefully.”
The reaction wasn’t as severe as the one before. It was fairly mild. But of course, it will always be calm before the storm…
He touched her forehead and a dot of purple light was absorbed into her. “...You better not die this time, you hear me?”
School felt empty and boring. Especially since she was now left alone, and it wasn’t as if she could just barge into the second year’s floor and spend time with Sora while she was in the middle of class. Her smile twitched as those thoughts ran through her mind. It was annoying that she had to act as a model student when she didn’t want to. Who even tossed that title to her anyways? If she earned it, was there a way to get rid of it?
Social life was so not her thing. Interacting with other kids who ogle at her everyday? No thank you. It was even worse now that she has no one to talk to and confide in about how the lecture sucked, and how she wished school would be over already. Well…
‘There is one person I can talk to.’
When she peeked in front of her, she saw that he was buried in his assignment. As usual. But often would he dart up and look in her direction. Of course, he wasn’t really looking at her, she thought. It was the empty space that resided to her left. Her heart sank but she quickly got herself back up.
So what if he liked her best friend? Natsumi is nice! She’s pretty! She’s smart, and she’s basically perfect! Unlike her who’s rude, cold, snobbish, and…
“What’s the matter, Aikawa-san?” She stopped shaking her head and found herself face to face with the teacher. He looked at her through his shiny glasses that gleamed with a mean glare. His eyes seemed to look into her soul, and all she could see through them was a pitch black vortex that seemed to go on forever. It seemed to suck her in.
“Wow. You must live a sad life, Agatsuma-sensei.” She blurted, her face filled with sympathy. Shock overpowered every other emotion left in his mind and his jaw dropped. The class erupted into laughter and snickers. She didn’t realize what she said until she replayed the scene in her mind and pieced the words she said accidentally, together. Every color was drained from her face and she turned white as a sheet.
“A-Aikawa-san!” His face was beet red. The pen in his hands was about to break from his powerful clench. “Outside the hall, now!”
It was too late to take back her words. She could already hear her heart sobbing.
‘Mom will so kill me when she hears about this!’
Her eyes were bloodshot when she arrived at the door as though she was put in front of a fan on turbo mode all day with her eyes taped open. With her hair disheveled and her bag about to slide off her shoulders, she truly looked like she was swept up by a tornado then somehow managed to escape. She squeaked from pain as she carefully sat on her chair.
He approached her with hesitance after seeing her disorganized appearance. “A-Aikawa, are you alright?”
“Huh? Me?” Her heart fluttered at the sight of him then a single thought crushed everything.
‘Oh no! I look like a mess!’
Just a glance at her told him that she didn’t sleep well. “You don’t look…alright. Did detention take a huge toll on you?”
“Detention? Oh…right.” Her mood fell even more at the mention of that. It was just simply awful yesterday! Her back was still sore and her knees felt as if they'd become rusty and moved stiffly. It was even worse when she had to face her mother. That cold, icy scowl with a thin smile. Her hand gripped onto the spatula, and her sweet but sickly words like thorns stabbing into her heart was just toture. Thank goodness that she now resided in Natsumi’s residence. “I had to write lines, standing up, for an hour.”
His eyes winced at the thought of such a tiring punishment. “Poor you…oh! I-I have some candy if you’d like? If it’d make you feel better?”
She glowed at the word ‘candy’. He could almost see a tail popping out of her, wagging excitedly. It made him chuckle. With delight and gratitude, she accepted the candy that he rummaged through his pocket for.
“Sorry if it doesn’t suit your tastes,” Tsukasa scratched his cheek, anticipating her reaction, “my siblings like this candy so I usually keep it on me.”
She smiled at him brightly as her fingers paused at the wrappers. “Oh no! I love this candy! It’s my favorite.”
“Yup!” She looked around then motioned him to come closer. “Don’t tell anyone though. Natsumi still thinks I like lemon candy.”
Tsukasa chuckled again at her words. Seeing him being able to laugh around her made her chest heave. It was nice for it to not be awkward like it usually is. Sometimes they would just greet each other and exchange a few words if they were to bump into each other. Each time that happened, she would have to walk away with a heavy heart and a weight of regrets on her shoulders for not being able to talk casually with him like she could with the others. The conversations were never in her favor.
“Speaking of Izanami-san, is she still feeling unwell?” He asked her. The light in her eyes dimmed a bit.
‘Right. He liked Natsumi.’
“Natsumi? She’s still a bit feverish. Yuu caught a cold because of her too.” She made up.
“Right. Of course he did. Those two are so close after all.” His words faded into a whisper. She tilted her head, not able to hear what he said near the end.
“Ah! No, it was nothing.”
“Then…well thank you for the candy. I feel so refreshed after consuming some sugar.” She gave him a thumbs up cheerfully. “If you need anything, feel free to let me know in the future.”
“Well…A-Aikawa, aren’t you lonely without Kaneko-kun or Izanami-san here with you?” Tsukasa asked with his hand rubbing the back of his neck. He sounded a bit shy and his face turned a bit red.
If her mind was a waterfall, then at that moment all her thoughts reached some sort of blockade that made the bottom of her waterfall become dry. All thoughts vanished from her head as if it evaporated into thin air, nowhere to be seen. “Hm?”
“I-I was thinking if…you would like my company?” His voice paused, then he shook his hands in front of her. “O-of course, if you don’t like it then I’ll return back to my seat without a problem.”
Incoming! With a loud ‘bang!’ the blockade was destroyed and the waterfall exploded. All sorts of emotions burst through her mind, intruding on her every thought.
“What? No, no, it’s fine of course! Y-you can take Natsumi’s seat.” She pointed to the spot next to her. “I’m sure she won’t mind.”
“Th-then, excuse me.” It didn’t take long for him to move all his books over to the desk next to hers. She knew in her heart that this might be a chance for her, but in her heart she had doubts. “I’ll be looking forward to working with you today, Aikawa.”
He was up all night tending to her. It was draining work indeed. He didn’t expect her condition to take a drastic turn, causing more work for him. Who would’ve thought his seal wouldn’t even last a few days? Even switching shifts with that fairy wasn’t enough to stop the mana from erupting out of her. Ever since she’s fallen into that state, Himari has taken over her room, claiming it to be her own now that its original owner was no longer there. No one was allowed into his room while he worked his soul and energy away. Sora would knock on the door and say words of encouragement and worry and then cease his words and leave. It was only when it was peaceful and quiet in the house he knew that everyone had either left or fell asleep. He was so occupied with his task that he didn’t even bother checking how many hours had passed.
His head would only fall onto her sheets when he was on his last straw. That was when the fairy would take over and start doing whatever she could to stop the progression of the mana overflow with her tiny hands and beautiful magic. With every sparkle, she burned the strings of mana off of the core only for it to reattach itself again after a while. What was the point of burning something off when it would just heal again? She didn’t have any other spells to use, and she couldn’t just destroy the mana core which might disrupt the body’s functions.
It was a deluge of mana!
Mana was like blood. It pumps through every inch, every blood cell in your body. When needed to be used, it would all be summoned to the core where the mana is told where to go, and what to do; the core was like the brain. But having all the mana clog up the core was not a very good thing. Even the core could handle only a limited amount of mana at a time; too much could be a burden for the body and could lead to all sorts of odd variables to materialize.
But this was certainly not the way the fairy wanted to meet Natsumi.
‘This is bad,’ she thought, her wings fluttering weakly. Her glow was faint and she wobbled. ‘I’m about to…pass out.’
His hands stretched out to catch her before she could fall any further. Yuu placed her on a tiny bed on top of the nightstand and stretched his hands. No words could be used to describe just how beautiful they were. With a hint of elegance and power, his hands were what people would not like to be hit with. Such delicate but masculine hands like his shouldn’t be stained in any way. But it couldn’t help but tremble after the many hours he’s worked diligently for.
Yuu knew that even if he did all that for her, and turned into skin and bones, Natsumi would wake up and question him without recognition for his efforts. In fact, she would probably say something like “what happened to you?” or “are you dead?”. But through all those difficulties, his countenance was as astonishing as always. If he was to be in this appearance, people would still stare in amazement. The dark bags underneath his eyes made him appear sexier and more mature than before. His loose shirt, and the thin blanket wrapped around him revealed a bit of his naked body underneath. The messy hair of his made him look insanely attractive. He wasn’t childish anymore, instead, an air of independence and maturation circulated around him, making it seem as if he aged.
It was odd how someone could transform into a different person in just a matter of a day. Hazy red eyes and ink-black ruffled hair, anyone would be content with life just with the image.
“Time to…get back to work.” Yuu yawned. In just a lapse of a few seconds, he shifted forward, pulled back his sleeves, and hopped back to scanning her status with his deft fingers. They flowed everywhere like making gentle ripples in the air. With each touch the strands would disperse into tiny gold particles. It would be beautiful if it could be used as a confetti of some sort.
The whole night, Yuu toiled away without stopping for breaks until the fairy had to offer support in order for him to rest. It was the first time in a while that she had seen him become so humane and persistent to save someone instead of destroying them. He would continue his labor listlessly while mumbling words underneath his breath to keep himself sane.
“Please, wake up,” Yuu said, breathlessly. He proceeded to nourish her body with a meal that he summoned. Magic could only take you so far; food was necessary for ingredients the body needs. Lifting her up was the easy part, but feeding her and making sure that the soup wouldn’t make her choke or clog up her throat was the hard step.
After a while of experiencing the inconvenience of hand feeding an unconscious person, he couldn’t handle it anymore and put the spoon to his lips. Then he bent down so that their faces were close. His eyelashes flickered and he paused before pressing his mouth against hers. It was an indescribable feeling. But it included all sorts of emotions: excitement, sorrow, reminisce, and overflowing anxiousness. However, doing this sort of disrespectful thing to a person who’s not even awake was unacceptable and improper. Especially to a girl!
Yuu quickly backed off, ashamed of what he had done.
‘But…it was soft.’ He licked his lips, bemused. His “improper” method did do the job at the very least. So… it wouldn’t hurt to do it a few more times under the pretext of “helping” her recover, right?
#novel #fiction #romance
Chapter 13: Unexpected Shift of Wind Direction (Chronicles of Time)
“Yuu, do you have a shirt that Tsukasa-kun can borrow?” Natsumi peeked into his room. Tsukasa peered in above her head.
“I do–” he paused. “No, I don’t.”
“Oh, come on!” Natsumi walked in and slapped him on the back. “It’s only this once.”
She dug through his drawer and gasped. “Hey! This is the hoodie that I gave you when you first came! You still have it?”
“I-I don’t know how it got there.” He said, avoiding her eyes. “Sora must’ve left it there by accident.”
“...alright…well since it was left there by accident, it’s fine if Tsukasa-kun uses it, right?” She turned to face Tsukasa but was stopped. His hand gripped onto her arm and she gave him a bizarre look. But his expression was even more frightening. “Are you angry?”
“N-no,” he shook it off and snatched the clothing back. “I’m sure that won’t fit him. I’ll find something else for him.”
She nodded slowly, taken back. They waited outside of his room door, a bit bewildered by his sharp reaction. Tsukasa, feeling the urge to break the tension, spoke up, “Er…it seems like Yuu-kun really likes it, huh?”
“I-it’s a surprise, actually.” She said, pulling back a strand of her hair. “He hated it before and called it ugly. I wonder why he’s suddenly so protective of it now?”
They waited until Yuu stumbled out of his room and handed some clothes to Tsukasa. He turned to Natsumi with a growl. “Next time, don’t touch my stuff without permission.”
Natsumi pouted. “As if you don’t go into my room out of nowhere!”
“H-how?” He thought about it to no avail. His mind drew a blank. “W-whatever! Just don’t go through my stuff and hand someone my belongings without permission!”
She was taken back and scoffed. “Your belongings? Okay, first of all, it was I who bought it. You didn’t appreciate it so why not give it to someone who actually needs it?”
“But…you gave it to me.” He said. His eyes drooped and he bit the inside of his lip and refused to look at her. His brows twitched and his gaze was stuck to the floor, forlorn. The other two froze at his puppy-like face.
‘I-is he pouting?’
They just stood there, confused on what to do. What should they even say? Why was he acting like this? He looked like those pitiful girlfriends in those dramas who sobbed as the gifts they received from their boyfriends were tossed to another girl. But to Natsumi, why did he look so–
“Adorable!” She grabbed his face, her heart melting. “W-who knew you could be so cute?”
“What?” He raised an eyebrow and hugged his arms. “What are you talking about?”
“Come on! Put that face back on again!”
“That puppy face! The one that makes someone melt from cuteness! Like - like this!” She did a demonstration and put her hands on the side of her face.
“I did not do that!” He pushed her away from him, disgusted.
“Yes, you did!” She insisted. “Tsukasa-kun saw, right…Tsukasa-kun?”
There was no one behind her. It seemed that he already left while they were bickering. She shrugged then turned back to Yuu. Her lips stretched into a mischievous grin.
“W-what?” He gulped.
She hummed while she fluffed up his pillow and spread out his blanket. Her whole body felt so light and it was as if the world turned bright and shiny. Tons of glitter could be seen everywhere she turned and best of all, he was staying over. It was a very fast progression, and unexpected, and totally not unwelcomed, but to think that luck was truly on her side? It was too good to be true–but it wasn’t a dream! Definitely not. And she was very sane. Very.
It did ticked her off whenever she bumped into Sora and he would point out that she was grinning like an idiot. And that was often. It was such a small world. Despite her brother’s annoying comments–the situation was perfect! All she had to do was land a hard punch for him to close his mouth. Tsukasa would also have to stay the night and that meant that they had plenty of opportunities to get to know each other well! But…
“Where is he at?” She said, sitting on the bed. “I even got his room ready too, so where could he have gone?”
Her hands flattened down the blanket. Her feet tapped against the floor and her eyes darted towards the door every few seconds. Then she sighed and got up. It was on her way back to Natsumi’s room that she saw him.
“Tsu–oh.” Her fingers curled back into her palms. She could feel her heart drop. All those sparkles that she had seen before were gone. Not knowing what she could even do in this situation, she stood still and watched like the idiot she was. She gnawed on the insides of her mouth then exhaled deeply.
‘I really thought…it would work out this time.’
Their smiles looked faded to her as she only focused on his eyes. They looked bright, but a bit dim as he looked at the two play fighting. He didn’t care about his damp red hair that dripped water onto his shoulders and soaked the top of his shirt. Even more did he not notice that she was watching him from afar with bitterness. At last, she couldn’t stand it anymore.
She gritted her teeth and mustered up her confidence. “T-Tsukasa-kun, your room is ready.”
“O-oh!” He jumped at the sound of her voice and quickly schooled himself. “Ah, thank you very much A-Aikawa.”
“...it’s all good.” She smiled shortly.
“Oh, right, A-Aikawa!” He said as she turned to leave. Her feet stopped and she peered over her shoulder.
“Um…t-thank you f-for today.” He bowed.
“No, it’s fine.” She said, curtly. “Have a good night.”
“G-good night to you too!”
“Yeah, sleep well!” She said back. He smiled back at her with a brightness equivalent to the sun. She really ought to purchase some sunglasses. Seeing his smile, who could stay mad at such a kind person? When she was in the clear, she clapped her cheeks then pumped her fists.
‘Who cares if he doesn’t like me back? It’s not as if I need him to! I can always find someone else! Besides…staying as friends isn’t so bad.’
Feeling much more energized and encouraged she headed to bed with a determined attitude.
“I can always go for him again!” She kicked her legs in the air and beamed. “It’s too early to give up!”
“What are you talking about?” Natsumi walked into the room, her fingers on the light switch. Akira stood behind her, hugging his pillow tightly. “It’s time to sleep.”
She swallowed her spit, forgetting that it was her best friend that he was interested in. It wasn’t just some rando, it was Natsumi. However, she shook off her mixed feelings and patted the bed. If any problem arises, they’ll make it through. After all, it has always been that way.
That night, she had another strange dream. It felt familiar again but…peculiar.
A large meadow stretched before her, and she could feel the wind combing through her hair. Her hands were…paler? And her hair wasn’t purple, but instead, dark red! It was wavy too. ‘She’ bent down and breathed in the scent of the flowers then immersed herself in this light feeling. Her chest sank and her body relaxed.
“Thank you for bringing me here.” She said, sitting down on the grass. The ground felt soft, as if she could sink into it any moment but not care.
“You're welcome.” A voice behind her replied. She heard that voice somewhere before, but ‘she’ continued to speak.
“There’s been a lot on my mind lately.” Her fingers slid through the gaps in the grass and flew up to the sky as she fell onto her back. The sky never felt so large, and the air never felt so weightless. It was a moment that was to be kept in her mind forever.
“I heard that you’ve been busy with…preparations.” Someone sat beside her but her gaze remained towards the sky and its indolent clouds.
“Yeah…they want to make me crown princess.” She sighed. She quickly glanced for any reaction then drew her attention back. It was for a split second but she managed to get a blurry image of the man.
“...is that so?”
She nodded, the grass brushing against her hair as she did so. He stayed silent for a while then opened his mouth,
“What else do you want me to say?”
She felt a twinge of annoyance and disappointment. “No. Forget it.”
“Did you even want to become crown princess either way?” He asked.
“Do you think I want to?”
“Well, do you?”
“Of course not!” She shouted in outrage. “Why would I–no, why are you so clueless?”
She turned away from him, plucking the blades of grass while glowering.
“Hey! What are you talking about?”
“Nothing that you would understand anyways.” She snapped. Time continued to pass with the two not speaking a word to each other after that. Not understanding why she was angry, he carefully stripped a delicate flower off of its lower stem and placed it in her hair.
“As long as you’re happy, I’m fine with anything you choose.” He said softly. More flowers were used to adorn the side of her hair and she smiled a little. But she couldn’t forgive him. Not when he could just easily find out her true thoughts and not choose to do so! Doesn’t he also–
“Natsumi?” She jolted awake at the touch of a cold hand. He stood before her with his hands retreating back to his side. “You alright?”
“Yeah…y-yeah I’m fine.” She breathed heavily and it was the same sensation as before. That cold feeling, like she was drenched in cold water and couldn’t stop shivering. But concurrently, her body also felt hot. Like something inside of her was about to burst and tear out of her. Her chest tightened and she had to keep swallowing back her saliva.
He glanced at her blanched face and the sweat protruding through her skin. “You sure? You don’t have to push yourself if you don’t want to. I’ll just tell–”
“Sora!” He paused. She gave him a look fraught with weariness and smiled. “I’ll be fine.”
Natsumi waved him away. “Yes. Now get out. I have to change.”
She shuffled out of bed and her legs wobbled as she headed to her closet. As if taking out her uniform wasn’t troublesome enough, she had to rely on leaning against the door to slip on her clothing. Her bag was snatched from its place beside her desk and she hurried downstairs with slight trembles.
“I-I’ll be heading out!” Her feet were almost near the door but a figure blocked her.
“No. You won’t be heading out.” Hearing her voice was all that his intuition needed to signal him that something was not right.
“W-why?” She looked at him outrageously.
“...the weather is getting colder and you’re sick.”
“I told you, I’m not sick.” She said with a smile, slapping away his hand before it could even touch her forehead. She really didn’t want to see him right now out of all people.
“Don’t force my hand.” He growled, displeased at her retaliation and stubbornness.
“What?” Her brows wrinkled, disgruntled. “‘Force your hand’? Why are you so against it?”
“Because you’re not feeling well!” He shouted impatiently. “What do you not understand? You’re in a weak state right now, it’s best to nurse your health and rest instead of risking the possibility of making things worse for yourself!”
It just felt so weird to her, hearing these words from him. He sounded annoyed…and desperate. Just why was he so keen on her anyways? Last time when Sora got sick he didn’t care and ditched him at home with a laugh. So why was it when it came to her he wanted to interfere?
“I’ll be fine!” She assured him with a bit of aggressiveness. “I will be! Thanks for your concern, but I’ll be fine!”
With those words, she turned her back against him who glared at her fervently. “Well sorry that I was trying to look out for you!”
Maybe it was because of that realistic dream that she saw that caused her to be so moody. But it still doesn’t change the fact that Yuu was acting awfully strange. Yuu cares for her? Please! That was just as believable to her as Sora flunking a test. “...I don’t need you to look out for me.”
He gritted his teeth and swallowed. “Fine!”
The door slammed in front of his face, and he sneered at her rushed exit.
‘Ungrateful.’ That word rang through his mind every second. ‘Ungrateful! Ungrateful! Ungrateful! Ungrateful! Ungrateful!’
Why was it so hard for her to just suck up his generosity? It isn’t everyday that he would show such benevolence and spare kindness, okay?!
“Is…everything okay?” He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked back.
“Yeah. Your best friend just swept up a storm and left me behind in the dust.” He scoffed and stormed back to the kitchen.
Chapter 12: Tsukasa (Chronicles of Time)
It was a 'sunny day'; perfect weather for picnicking. They had prepared food in the morning after confirming with Yuu the weather agenda and asking him to use his almighty magic to see if the skies will continue to stay clear after facing terrible and fluctuant days where the rain either cascaded down the skies endlessly, or thunder ran rampant amongst the clouds. It was such unstable weather that even Yuu became annoyed and threatened to cut open the sky if it didn't behave itself.
“It’s great that it's warm today,” Natsumi said cheerfully, placing down the basket on top of the mat that the boys set down. She was glad to be able to wear the new dress she bought a couple of days ago at the mall, and finally found suitable conditions where she won’t be blown away by the ferocious winds, or get drenched by the messy rain.
They all cooperated and unpacked the food and sat back to enjoy the scenery. But in reality, they were really just in the backyard of their house with Yuu casting a dome over their heads and an image of a fake sun shining down at them. With his skills, he was able to moderate the temperature to suit the setting.
“I love how realistic and authentic this feels, but I also love how synthetic it feels as well,” Sora said, grabbing a cola from the cooler, “especially since we all know this is all Yuu’s doing and that there’s actually lightning and some strong wind accompanied by rain outside of this…shield?”
“Dome.” Yuu said. “Just say the word when you want me to release it and enjoy some fresh air and water and some natural view of the outside world. Believe me, it’s beautiful.”
“And believe me when I say that girls don’t look good when they’re wet.” Himari added. They all munched on their snacks and beverages and sighed simultaneously.
“Why can’t the weather turn back to normal already?” Natsumi whined and laid down. “I want to wear a yukata without getting wet! Christmas and New Years are coming up soon! Right now it feels like we’re eight months ahead and already reached Summer!”
“Yuu, can’t you do something about it?” Himari turned to him.
“It’s funny to see you guys complain though,” he replied.
“Says the person who was also complaining and getting pissed off the day before.” Natsumi scoffed.
“Well I think that it’s fine to stay at home and spend some time with my sweethea–”
“Don’t even finish that word.” Natsumi warned him. “Don’t you remember the agreement we had?”
“What agree–? Oh! Well you made it up on your own accord, I didn’t say I’ll follow it.”
He dodged her hand. “I never promised.”
She peeked into the hallway to confirm that he’s gone, then turned back to the boy who stood behind her.
“What are you looking at?” He glanced in the direction that she was facing before. “What’s with that smile?”
She had a smug look on her face and snickered. “You just dragged yourself into a big problem!”
“By flaunting your presence in front of Sora! You know, it would’ve been better if you came out as a child. Besides, how did you suddenly grow taller?”
“I already told you–”
“Oh right! You’re a magician.” She interrupted. “Anyways, since you’re here, let’s establish some rules so such a situation never occurs again.”
She sat down on the couch while he sat on the floor. She had to tear her eyes away from his body and clear her throat to get back to topic. It was just too alluring. “Okay, so first of all, the most important thing is Sora not finding out that we’re actually engaged. His eyes will drop and roll on the ground, and his jaw will sink to the Earth’s core. Your ears will also be blown away by his shock. So I suggest you keep quiet about that.”
He scoffed with doubt. “He can’t be that bad.”
“Oh, you don’t know how bad he can be! Anyways, second rule: no touchy-touchy. I haven’t–and probably won’t ever will–fully believe that you’re my fiancee yet. So don’t act like one unless I need you to.”
“No problems on that.” He took a pillow from the seat next to her and embraced it.
“Next, number three. Don’t dig through my personal stuff–it’s off-limits unless I ask you to fetch something for me.”
“I won’t even fetch it for you if you ask me to,” he assured her. It annoyed her for some reason but she shrugged it off.
“Fine. Whatever. Then the next rule is…”
‘Master, when will I be able to introduce myself to the miss?’ She looked at him with hope. ‘Hm?’
He flipped through the old mangled book with crusted pages about to rip off. Photos and small glowing particles flew off of it each time he slightly brushed it or blew on it.
“Shut up,” he growled. “I’m trying to find something.”
She clamped her mouth shut and took a seat on top of one of the shelves. She played with the edges of her skirt and frowned. All she could do ever since she got out of the tower was just to stay hidden and remain in the same room.
“Alright,” he shut the book. “Do you know crafting magic?”
She nodded eagerly. ‘Y-yes, master!’
“I need you to craft a pendant for me.” He said and gestured to her to come. He pointed to what he wanted her to see and turned to her who hovered above his shoulder and next to his cheek. “Can you make this?”
‘Of course, master! Leave it to this humble servant!’ She said with pride, a fist clenched over her heart.
“Make it fit to contain an Okami's soul,” he instructed her. “It has to be ready…soon.”
“Recently, it’s become so dull,” Himari said, tapping her pen on her textbook. “Don’t you think that we…lack some spice in life?”
“Hm?” She slowly looked up from her paper and tilted her head. “What are you talking about? We’re pretty busy. It’s getting colder too. The holidays are coming up as well so we have to plan for that.”
She shook her head. “No! No! That’s not what I meant. I mean romance.”
“Ohh…” Natsumi’s expression turned blank. “I see…sorry, I can’t be of any help with that. You have anyone you’re interested in?”
“No…” she looked away. The hazy expression gave away that something was off when she looked closely at her friend.
She exclaimed and gasped at the same time. “You do!”
“Who is it?”
She looked around then waved her hand to come closer. “You know Tsukasa-kun?”
Natsumi’s heart couldn’t help but feel elated for some reason. Knowing now that Himari didn’t have any interest in Yuu, one of her worries was eliminated. Wait. That wasn’t right. She shook her head mentally and waved that thought away. Natsumi elbowed Himari and snickered, “Oh, ho? So you’re interested in those types of boys, huh?”
Himari blushed. “B-be quiet!”
But her gaze kept wandering off and landing on the red-haired boy a few rows in front of her. He looked...amazing. He was kind too! Very. There was not a moment where he hesitated to help others and his shy side was cute too. It was just that…
She sighed then refocused herself back onto her task.
“What are you thinking about?” Yuu poked her. “You look depressed and it's ugly.”
‘And of course, the world just has to have douchebags like him as well!’
“Nothing you need to know.” She snapped at him with a glare. “Jeez, can’t you be more considerate? Of course, I’m sure that everything is going smoothly in your life right now. With your looks you can get every girl you ever want.”
“Maybe not every.” He muttered underneath his breath.
“Nothing. So it’s just boy troubles?”
“Yeah. You really interested in this?”
He shrugged. “I mean, I’ll listen if you want me to. I’m good at keeping secrets.”
“Maybe another time. Not when this period is about to end.”
The sky was dark when they arrived at home. They were starving and cold, and looked at their books with weary eyes–besides Yuu and Akira.
“Delivery?” Himari asked.
“Yes, please!” They all replied in unison.
“You sure you don’t want me to summon up a meal?” Yuu asked.
“No,” Natsumi rejected. “Not when the last time you did that we got something you wanted and it didn’t suit our tastes at all.”
“Seriously! Who eats a matcha sweet roll and ice cream for dinner?” Himari said while dialing a number into her keypad. “Hello? Oh yes, can I have a medium-sized…”
She left the room while speaking into her phone in the direction of the kitchen. Then she returned to them carrying a tray of drinks. They all grabbed a cup and sipped while exchanging words about their day and annoyances they encountered (mostly about the monotone lectures they received). It didn’t take long for their delivery to arrive.
The doorbell rang and Himari rushed to answer. She opened the door clumsily and stared at the box of pizza in the delivery man’s hands. She handed him the payment in one hand–with tip–while taking the food from him in another.
“Thank you for your hard work,” she bowed, still not looking up. Her hands moved to close the door but froze.
She flinched at the mention of her name and their eyes met. “...Tsukasa-kun?”
“It is you!” He laughed. “This is where you live?”
“What’s taking so long?” Behind them stood the others who glanced back and forth between the two.
“Uh…did we interrupt?” Sora scratched his cheek.
“Tsukasa-kun? What are you doing here?” Natsumi removed Yuu’s arm from her shoulder and peeked behind Himari. Akira quickly patted his tail and ears away. Yuu swaggered up and took the pizza box from her hands while scooting Natsumi away, earning himself a slap.
He looked at their close interaction and cleared his throat. “I-I didn’t know you all lived together.”
“We didn’t know you had a part-time job too.” Natsumi said, checking out his outfit. “Aren’t part-time jobs not allowed at our school?”
“Ah…about that…” he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “Um…can you guys keep it a secret? I know I’m not abiding by the school’s rules but…”
“Of course! We’ll keep quiet about it. Right, guys?” Himari gave the others a death stare. They all nodded quickly. “See? Your secret is safe with us.”
“Thank you so much!” He said with gratitude.
“But will you be alright?” She asked him. “I heard that there will be strong wind and rain very soon?”
“Really? But it didn’t say that on the forecast today.” He straightened his cap, confused.
“Yuu said it will, right, Yuu?” It was as if they could read each other’s minds. He nodded in response and gave her a smile.
“Yes, I heard it will be very strong tonight. Possibly in a few minutes.” He added and sneaked in a wink.
“Why don’t you come in?” Natsumi suggested, nodding towards the inside of her house. “Is your shift almost over?”
“Ah! I can’t trouble you with that.” He shook his head. “It’s fine.”
“Oh, no,” Himari pushed him in. “We insist.”
“Then…I’ll talk to the manager.” He pulled out his phone. “I’ll also have to move the scooter. Give me a minute, please. I’ll join you in a second.”
After he did what he had to do and received confirmation and permission to end his shift early, they all settled him in and treated him with hospitality. They talked and laughed and got to know each other better. The more immersed they were into the conversation the more they found out that they had many things in common. Akira watched quietly and only answered in a few words when asked questions, otherwise, he was being fed by Natsumi who cut up his pizza into tiny slices.
“I think you should stay the night.” Himari said to Tsukasa while eyeing Yuu. He gave her a thumbs up secretly then returned back to his meal.
“Oh, I can’t possibly do that.” He refused politely. “I’ve already brought you all trouble enough. I’m sure the weather can’t be too bad right now.”
“I don’t know…it is pretty late.” She said back. He got up from his seat and dusted himself off.
“I will be fine. Thank you for your concern though Aikawa-sa–I mean, A-Aikawa.” He stammered while taking up his cap and his jacket. “Sorry, I’m just not used to addressing you so casually yet.”
“That’s fine! It takes time.” She guided him to the door while the rest sniggered at their interactions and cleaned their mess. He nodded thanks then turned the doorknob. Gusts of wind blew his hair up and violent rain pelted him the moment he looked out. He quickly closed the door, stunned. “Wow! It seems really bad out there. Would you like to stay the night?”
“...s-sorry to trouble you all even more.” He bowed apologetically.
She smiled inwardly. “No, no! It’s no problem! No problem at all! We house a bunch of people all the time with no charge! Take Yuu for example!”
“Hey!” They heard him shout.
“Who’s ‘we’?” Natsumi raised an eyebrow. “Mind you, it’s you all who keep on coming –not me who keeps on welcoming–” she glowered at her, “b-but of course you’re welcome to stay!”
“See?” She smiled. “We have a guest room for you. N-not that it was specifically left for you, but it’s just for any guest who stops by, of course!”
“T-then, thank you so much.” He beamed.
“O-of course!” She stuttered. A hole was blown through her heart from seeing his angelic smile. “W-we’re f-friends now after all!”
#novel #fiction #romance
Chapter 11: Arranged Meeting (The Chronicles of Time)
She fumbled with her skirt, twirling her hair until it curled up then sighed. “When will he arrive?”
“You mean ‘they’?” A voice corrected her. The other girl jumped in fright at the sight of the dark blue-haired girl’s entrance.
“H-hi! Aren’t you guys early?” She smiled quickly.
“Oh, she’s here already?” Yuu leaned down. “My bad! We came out a bit late.”
But his face showed no remorse…
Aoko-san rushed to speak, “Oh no, really! I just came a few minutes ago! It’s nothing to worry about.”
“Great, so now we don’t have to feel guilty about it.” He said, unscrupulous, and turned away from her hopeful stare. “Let’s go.”
He sped away from the group with his long stride carrying him a long distance with each step.
“Hold on, Yuu!” The purple-haired girl flew after him. Her blue eyes filled with annoyance and her hair danced behind her. “You’re so rude! You can’t just leave her like that after we invited her!”
“That’s none of my business,” he called back. “The one who asked her was Sora, not me.”
‘...eh?’ She stared blankly after them.
“Come on, Aoko-san!”
“We should hurry up,” Sora glanced at her briskly then moved ahead.
“What do you wanna eat, Natsumi?” Himari held up the dessert menu in a position so they could both see. “I like the look of the strawberry parfait and the golden toast dish.”
“The toast looks as if it’s super warm, like the sun.”
“I want the chocolate parfait, the brownie box, and the chocolate chip rolled ice cream.” Yuu said, shifting the menu towards him.
“You’re lucky you don’t get fat.” Natsumi sighed, looking down at her stomach.
She slapped his arm in return for his remark. “Sora, what are you gonna get?”
He straightened up. “Me? Uh well…I think I’ll have the creme brulee cheesecake. I never had that before. I also want the chocolate ganache souffle pancake. It looks good.”
‘Why does it feel like they’re all just ostracizing me?’
She sat on the opposite bench from the rest. There was no more room on the other side. It was uncomfortable, but it would be even more awkward to not say anything. “I think that–”
“Look Natsumi! The waiter over there is doing something weird with a long stretch of dough!” Himari shouted. They both stretched their necks to try and see what was occurring at the other table. “That looks so weird!”
Her lips twitched with aggravation. Something felt off to her. The entire time, the others didn’t hesitate to either interrupt her words, or leave her in the dust. Whenever she tried to join them they would shift their attention to something else or recall a memory that only they share. And not only that! They were mainly focused on that one girl and treated her so preciously! Just what was the entire purpose of inviting her anyway if they’re gonna give her the cold shoulder like that? And - and - and Sora! He attempted to talk to her but only to get pulled away and dragged back by the others. Yuu was treating her coldly as well! He ignored her everytime she tried to approach him, and all she could do was stand there and look like an utter fool!
But she couldn’t do anything and had to keep on her mask.
She stood up, fed up with it all. “...Excuse me for a second. I have to use the lady’s room.”
As expected, no one noticed her words and continued on as if she wasn’t there.
“So…what’s your intention in leaving her out, huh?” Natsumi said, looking at the two's guilty expressions.
“D-don’t worry about it,” Himari assured her weakly. “We’re not up to anything bad.”
She raised an eyebrow and scanned their faces only to be stumped at Yuu’s. “...I can’t tell what you’re thinking about at all.”
He scoffed. “Of course not. I don’t let my thoughts spill that easily.”
She pointed at him and shook her finger. “You see that? If he’s playing hard to get, that means you guys are up to something. I’ve known him long enough to figure this trait out.”
Sora chuckled. “Ha…ha…don’t mind it.”
“...alright, I won’t.” She took up her glass of water and drank out of it. “I’ll leave you alone for now. Once the deed is done, do tell.”
It was after a while when their desserts were served, Aoko-san returned back to her seat with a soft smile. But for some reason, her expression looked cold and stiff.
“Sorry I took so long.”
“It’s alright,” they all said in unison and went back to their own little world.
“Natsumi, try this!” Himari picked up a spoon of Yuu’s brownie parfait and fed it to her friend.
“Hey! That was my spoon ya’ know?” Yuu said.
She flinched and looked at the spoon in Natsumi’s mouth in a flash. Her emotions turned green.
“It’s fine! Have you eaten it yet?” Himari shrugged nonchalantly.
“Why does it matter? You share food with her all the time don’t you?”
She couldn’t believe her ears. How could they do such a thing so frequently? It seems as if the girl has an upper hand compared to her who barely even talks to the person she likes! Just hearing about how close they are irked her. She gripped her glass of sundae tightly.
“I didn’t know you guys were that close.” She said, feigning ignorance.
Himari smirked inwardly. ‘She caught the bait.’
“Come to think of it,” she started, pursing her lips, “it’s the first time that we’ve met outside of a school setting, huh?”
“...yes, that’s right.”
“We’ve never really invited anybody else outside to hang out like this.” Himari said then paused. “...It just feels so weird. Sorry if it seems like you feel left out. We’re just not really used to this.”
Those words were unexpected. She felt relieved and was also confounded. It was like music to her ears, but it was hard for her to believe it. “T-that’s alright! Really! I…kind of knew that. I’m not offended or anything.”
“That’s good to hear!” Himari said, acting mollified.
She was appeased to hear how they suddenly became apologetic about the treatment they had towards her. It was so satisfying that her anger faded away as if it never existed to begin with.
“But you know, how were you even invited again?” Yuu asked, abruptly. Her face cracked. Those words hit her in the chest, but it exacerbated the wound even more when she realized it was her own crush that said them. And especially since it was the second time the topic came from his mouth.
“...Aikawa-kun did.” She replied quietly. It wasn’t what she expected. She was so confident, so sure that he was the one who wanted her to come!
“Ohh…Sora?” Yuu turned to him who blinked in confusion. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her frustrated expression. His lips curved with schadenfreude.
Sora looked up from his cheesecake. “Hm?”
Yuu gave him a suggestive grin. “Oh really?”
Noticing this made her heart tighten even more. She pretended to glance at her watch and gave an audible gasp. “Oh, I have to go now! Sorry!”
“Oh, that’s alright,” Himari said while Aoko-san hurriedly grabbed her bag and stepped out of her seat. “Have a safe trip back~!”
She left without a single peek back, abashed.
He paced around the room then halted. Then he started walking again and stopped. The cycle repeated until he decided to break it. He opened the door of his room, stepped through it, then vanished into a new background. It was dark; the stars were the only light source, and even with that—it was still dim. A bleak plain stretched out before him and wind blew past him weakly. It was calm, unlike the hectic and energetic atmosphere he’s used to. Feeling pleasant about the tranquility, he took a few steps around the setting and released a deep sigh.
The air was nostalgic, and made him reminiscent. His dreamy stare made him different from his usual self. He closed his eyes and relished in this old environment. It has been a while since he has visited this place. Unconsciously, a hazy smile began to form.
From the distance, a tall desolated and venerable tower stood loftily. He strolled along, his destination nonetheless—that tower. It looked down at him with an air of gloom when he arrived at the door. He kicked it down with no hesitation and the door rearranged itself back up when he entered; like magic. Flying objects were visible all throughout the building. They avoided him intentionally; each time they flew too close, the object would steer itself, narrowly missing any inch of his body as if they knew not to touch him unless commanded.
“Give me the journal book,” he ordered. Complying to his wishes, the enchanted tower began to move and twist itself into all sorts of ways until spitting out the book he wanted. A desk immediately walked to him with a sense of urgency, and the variables that used to sit on its surface cleared away. The object that he wanted floated towards that vacancy and set itself in front of him.
‘Is that all you came for?’
“Yeah, I’ll be taking this and that’s all.” He took up the wrinkly book in his hands and tossed it around. “Seems like you’ve been taking care of everything here, like usual. I thought you would’ve quit already.”
‘Who wouldn’t want to quit when the master of the tower is such a douche bag? Always neglecting his precious tower and being unorganized! It sends me into a rage just seeing how messy it is!’
“I can still find everything just fine without you acting like the manager of this place.”
‘...don’t tell me that you’re planning on returning. I just cleaned up everything! With your absence, this tower hasn’t decayed nor been blown up these last few decades! Oh lord, please just leave! This tower prefers to be under my control than yours! Oh, this poor thing! It’s many wounds that were inflicted by you–you devil! You brute! Don’t you dare go into a rampage again otherwise–’
He glared venomously in a specific direction. “Who’s tower is this?”
‘E-eep! Y-yours, m-my lord!’ A tiny luminescent figure peeked out from a pile of dusty books. It was a miniature girl. Her clear and beautiful crystal wings glowed and shimmered everytime it fluttered. She was shining. Her large clear eyes instantly closed and she squirmed under his pressure, clutching onto her white skirt.
He turned away from her. “It’s fine. Continue guarding this tower, you’ve been doing a good job so far.”
Was that a praise? Her mind went blank. It could only mean one thing…
‘M-my lord, could it be…perhaps you’ve found the miss?’ She gaped.
He stopped adjusting the button of his robe. “Huh?”
‘E-excuse my rudeness.’ She bowed quickly. Of course he couldn’t have found her! But then other than the miss, what else could put him into such a good mood? Maybe he found a hint of her location…?
He grinned. “Yeah, I found her.”
Her head rose quickly. ‘Will you bring her here again? Pretty please? I-I want to see the young miss again! She was such an angel! Like a breath of fresh air from all of the magic trapped in this tower. Oh, it was so nice! Really! If anything can you–’
“You sure like to chat a lot, don’t you?” She froze at those cold words, and her wings stopped flapping excitedly. His face was covered with the gold shimmers that were produced from her wings. He coughed.
‘I-I’m sorry! I didn’t mean that! I–’
“Enough,” he cleaned his face with his sleeve and turned to her. “Do you wish to leave this tower? I got another task for you.”
She gulped, praying to god that it wasn’t an arduous assignment meant to punish her. Well, if god even existed in the first place she wouldn’t have been captured and stuck with such a snobbish master! Life was so unfair! It wasn’t her fault she was tricked and bewitched by his face and the polite manner that he displayed in front of the Fairy King! Ugh! Now she can only go along obediently and jump into lava if he ordered her to do so.
‘W-what is it, s-sir?’ She was close to tears, her eyes widened and looked at him, paralyzed with fear.
“...Don’t cry, geez. I wasn’t going to kill you or anything.”
‘You tried to blow up a whole tower and forgot that I was stuck inside before!’ she cried, but it was inside her mind.
“You wanted to meet her right?”
‘Don’t kill me! Please don’t - !...Eh?’
“You wanted to meet that miss of yours so badly so I’ll take you with me. You’re skilled in magic, no?”
It felt like her heart stopped. It was so odd of him to treat her so gently like this. Usually she would be faced with all sorts of curses and phrases like “you’re trash!” or “why are you so useless?”
Quickly grasping the opportunity to escape the tower she said, ‘Y-yes sir!’
“Then you’ll be useful. Come on.”
She flew behind him, joyfully. ‘The lord is the best! The best! I’m so blessed to have such a kind and generous lord! I’m so happy! Thank you! Thank you! Just command this servant to do anything and she will perform the task without complaint! The lord is blessed by the Heavens with great looks and almighty powers that would even make god tremble in fear! I will–’
#novel #fiction #romance