So Homework for me
Researching european and japanese art.
Japanese and German culture, customs and cuisine
So Homework for me
Researching european and japanese art.
Japanese and German culture, customs and cuisine
It’s been quite some time hasn’t it? My writing habits are so out of whack, I have no excuse. Please continue keep an eye on me, my username is Bisa on webtoon.com.
If there is magic, then there is monsters.
This had been proven time and time again in almost every fictional universe.
My family saw me off on the ship heading for Hawthorne Island two weeks later.
I had expected the trip to Hawthorne Island would be a smooth sailing, but unexpectedly. . .we ran into a storm on our way there.
Even during the day, the dark clouds above offered little comfort. Everyone kept inside, mostly in the dining hall and lounge area. Gazing outside the window at the raging seas, I felt uneasy. Am I forgetting something? I feel like I am. Something important. . .
Suddenly the whole ship shook. Kids were thrown out of their seats and slid down to the floor. Because I was near the window, I saw it.
A thick black tentacle appearing on the deck.
That’s right. . . there was a special event that made Anais Letiffany and the love interests of the protagonist so respectable among their peers!
Running out onto deck, sure enough there was a giant yellow eye peeking out from its shell. A giant nautilus.
From above three boys were already outside fighting it.
When tentacles had managed to wrap themselves and lift the boys into the air, I knew I should do something. However, I left my wand behind in my room! I should be able to manage this without my wand still though right?
Before I could even step forward a flash of red came into view. If I’m correct it’s one of the love interests from the game.
Aaron Pyroneil, he was from the prestigious Pyroneil family, a family of holy knights and priests praised for their exceptional skill at controlling fire.
The tentacles holding the other students had been severed, freeing them.
Recalling the original story from the game. I hurried over to one of the students that had just been released from the tentacle.
“You can use lightning spells now right?”
That boy looked at me a bit disoriented from the fall, he had platinum blonde hair and warm light brown eyes.
He actually wasn’t a stranger to Anais but a childhood friend. Donald Honey, the son of the head priest of the capital’s church. Our Grandfathers were friends so our families often saw each other.
I held out my hand to help him up and he took it.
“Why don’t we work together to break its shell using lightning magic? Otherwise none of our attacks will do any real damage.”
“Isn’t that a bit. . .? Alright.” Donald was hesitant but he quickly made up his mind.
Just like his Father had us practice when we were kids, we held hands (tango style)and our bodies glowed with light. Because of the weather, summoning the lightning took only a couple of seconds.
A fierce white bolt that for a second looked like a dragon shooting down from the sky shattered the nautilus beast’s giant shell.
Shards of the shell went flying. I hadn’t anticipated this and panicked. Still holding my hands, Donald put up a barrier so large it covered the ship. The rest of the shells bounced off. As expected of one of the game’s love interests. He was pretty capable.
“Nice work! But I’ll take it from here!” Aaron, flaming sword in hand, changed it to a flaming bow and arrow.
“Blue flames?” Donald was just as surprised as me.
Standing a few feet away from him was a boy with black hair, his hair was wet from the sea water that had splashed in from the sides so I couldn’t quite see his face.
He also made a magic arrow using black wind. It was another rare sight.
The two fired the arrows at the same time. Both elements combined to form an arrow of lightning, stunning the Nautilus so bad it released the ship.
“I’m not sure we defeated it but. . .it should be gone right?” I asked.
“It’s a creature of the water so lightning should have severely weakened it.” Donald responded.
Glimpsing past him, I noticed some of the crew members were injured. I hurried over to heal them.
The ship’s captain appeared shortly afterwards as did all the other students onboard. And so, I was able to fulfill the event. As thanks for our help in scaring off the sea monster, we were invited to share a meal with the captain. However he ended up having to leave at the start of dinner, the ship had suffered a lot of damage from the attack. They had to check every nook and cranny for cracks so the ship wouldn’t sink.
“That was so scary. I thought these parts of the water was supposed to be safe.” Seeing how quiet everyone was, I decided to say something first.
“The sea is deep and even more mysterious than the surface, we can never be sure what’s lurking down there.” Donald said frowning as he picked at his food. It would appear he still despised eating radishes.
“The ship always takes the same route to Hawthorne right? Why do you think the nautilus would come all the way to the surface?” I asked him. We sorta grew up together so naturally he was the most comfortable talking with me.
“A naughty what?” Aaron raised his brows at me.
“Nautilus, you know it’s the sea creature that appeared. I’ve only read about them in books but I didn’t expect them to be that huge!”
“They’re not supposed to be.” Donald interjected . He looked worried. “Nautilus aren’t even supposed to be predators, they’re scavengers that feed off dead animals on the seafloor.”
“Ooooh.” Seeming not to have known this Aaron looked enlightened. “. . .Maybe there are a lot of dead animals on the sea floor around Hawthorne, so it grew big.”
Hearing this we all stared at him. He was ignorant but still had a good head on his shoulders. In the game I could never understand if he was pretending to be stupid or not but it seems thats just genuinely how he is. Not very knowledgeable but still intelligent. If he just applied himself more to his studies instead of giving his all to training then maybe he’d make a good Captain some day.
“How frightening, if that’s the case then there must be dozens of others like them. . .” Imagining it stressed me out. In addition to worrying about vengeful spirits there were now giant shelled squids trying to eat ships.
“L-let’s not jump to conclusions here. I’m sure the Captain will put in a request for adventurers to check it out so let’s leave it to the adults.” Donald perhaps imagining it himself also grew fearful and quickly spoke up.
“They were pretty useless earlier though.” Aaron stated this matter o’factly as he folded his arms behind his head then eyed the both of us. “Still the both of you surprised me with that high tier magic, are you sure you even need to attend Hawthorne?”
Hearing this compliment Donald coughed. His ears seemed red for some reason. I forgot, he’s talkative with me but in the game he’s the Kuudere type isn’t he? “You can never know too much when it comes to magic.” he said.
“What about the two of you, you seemed to be both adept already to be able to make weapons out of elements. You even managed to combine the two, that was great team work, you guys must’ve trained pretty hard together!” I said clasping my hands together.
Aaron and that boy blinked at me.
“We haven’t.” The two said in unison.
Both glanced at each other. It’s a late introduction but allow me to introduce the other individual. Black hair, and sharp grey eyes. Eurus Stratos. He was the black sheep of the love interests. His Mother was a dark witch so he was considered the outcast of his family, but since he came from a rich noble family, he must’ve had an okay upbringing for his family to allow him to attend Hawthorne. Actually I never finished playing his route, his attitude was too abrasive for my liking.
“I don’t know this guy.” Aaron clarified.
“Then that’s even more amazing.” Donald agreed with me.
“Then what about you two? You know each other?” Aaron glanced at both Donald and I.
We both nodded as we eyed each other.
“It’s been a couple of years since we last saw each other but yeah.” I muttered. Donald was like me, due to the overflowing mana in his body, he had been sickly, however his family was quickly able to find him a magic item that could help his condition stabilize. Although I was a noble, my family had a lower status. As we got older our meetings between the family became less and less, due to his studies and my illness.
“I didn’t even know you were attending Hawthorne. You appeared out of nowhere too. There are too many surprises today.” Donald sighed.
“Hehe. . .” I laughed this off. But I felt bad for not keeping in touch.
Like that I was able to get acquainted with the first three love interests of the protagonist. I wasn’t concerned of possible romance due to the storyline.
In the game. Anais, although seemingly close to everyone, she at the same time wasn’t. Even though she had a refined and angelic appearance even more so than the protagonist. In my opinion there were actually many beautiful girls in the game that made me question why the main love interests fell for the protagonist, not that the protagonist is ugly. She is pretty but nothing compared to all the other girls. Maybe that’s why she wasn’t really targeted in the game. The creatures behind the disappearance of the female Hawthorne students were mostly interested in the extremely beautiful ones. . .If that’s the case, I wonder if Anais really does end up dying in the end. . .
This thought weighed on me. Maybe so. . . still even if I end up dying, if I’m able to help the protagonist find out the secret and save the school. I suppose. . .I suppose I’ll be fine with dying. I thought this while scratching the left side of my chest.
We arrived at Hawthorne island a bit later than scheduled thanks to the attack. Rolling my luggage down the plank to the shore, I suddenly regretted not having Esme or brother around to help me carry my things.
Halfway down the ramp, the descent of my luggage suddenly accelerated. I dug in my heels as I resisted against the force but the luggage turned on its own. I sped down the docks and into the forest, I wouldn’ve crashed into a tree had I not put up a barrier at the last minute, the luggage suddenly stopped on its own propelling me forward. I slammed into my own barrier so hard that for a while I lied there dazed on the ground, my vision white. I didn’t come to until all the hairs on my body rose. It suddenly became cold. . .
I glanced to the side and saw her in my peripheral. She was looking at the giant tree I had nearly crashed into.
I sat up and glanced at the tree too. This tree. . . something felt off about it. If I recall correctly this is the infamous dryad tree that was sealed by a priestess long ago.
The fairy that once lived in this tree, evolved and became a succubi, it would seduce men and suck out their life force until there was nothing left. She’d used their corpses as fertilizer and with their semen gave birth to more offspring. Thus this tree was named The Tree of the First Succubi.
The remaining demons were hunted by holy knights and priests but there was still more dangerous creatures on the island. What had made that innocent fairy turn into such a terrifying creature? It’s possibly linked to the corruption of this whole island.
But was Amelie trying to tell me that it all started here? Or was she just showing me this so I could research up on it?
I glance at her. Only to freeze when I realize that she was also looking at me. Her face was scarred, as if barbed wire had been dragged against it, some seemed to be poking out from underneath her skin. There was a deep void in her eyes that glued me to the spot. Tears welled up in my eyes. For a while I forgot to breathe. Amelie, what happened to you here?
I flinched and quickly came to my senses. Blinking, I turned around. I wasn’t expecting Donald to come running after me with such a panicked look.
“Oh. . . it’s you?”
“Are you alright?” Donald looked seriously spooked as he kneeled down next to me who sat in a bit of a daze on the forest floor.
Of course he’d be scared. I was digging in my heels and trying my very best to stop the descent of my luggage, I’m sure to those who saw it, it would become obvious that something had been pulling me.
Still I hadn’t expected Donald to run after me like this. I’m not the protagonist.
“Oh, I’m fine. But. . . why did you come here?” I asked him.
His face morphed into one of pink then white then finally anger registered.
“Why? I was worried. That’s why! Anyone would be!”
Yet he was the only one to come after me. In the game it was the same. This island had a strange way of isolating individuals from their groups, only those that were close to them would notice their absence. But even then it was as if the person had been swallowed by the island. That’s why it was vital the protagonist seduced guys so that they would notice her, and come looking for her. Chasing off the ghosts in the process.
Using my luggage as a crutch to stand I say.
“Let’s head back now, I don’t want to get lost in this forest.”
Frowning at me, Donald hauled my luggage away from me. His other hand firmly grabbed mine.
If this were the game perhaps this would be a good moment for an illustration.
Hmm, it’s like I’m experiencing the prequel of the game. Donald probably sees Anais as a younger sister character, huh? Which means my affinity with him due to us being childhood friends was defaultly high huh? Come to think of it in the later half of the game Donald could no longer be seduced(the affinity wouldn’t rise any higher) and in his place a new love interest is introduced. I was super disappointed about that, but now, not so much. As we walked I stared at his side profile, gratitude swelled up inside me. I had no idea he cared so much about her. About me…
“This island is known for its troublesome fairies, maybe one of them wanted to play a prank on you.” Donald said as we walked back to the docks. Everyone had already left though, we got directions of which town to head to and was thoroughly surprised to find Aaron and Eurus waiting around at the bus stop.
“Oh, you guys. . .”
“I was going to leave earlier but I felt too unsettled to leave. It’s good you’re safe.” Aaron looked disturbed as he stood around waiting with his arms folded but after seeing me, he looked relieved. “Here’s your luggage Donnie.”
“Donnie?” Donald cringed as he took back his luggage. I had only ever been the one to call him that when we were kids, but not even I still call him that.
“This island is just as strange as I had heard.” Was all Eurus had to say.
Since Donald had his own luggage to carry I wanted to carry mine. But none of them would let me, while we walked towards the school, the three took turns dragging my luggage. This I couldn’t understand.
Perhaps Aaron and Eurus saw me as a respectable colleague? But Eurus hated girls didn’t he?
“The spirits of this island must’ve taken a liking to you. You should be careful.” Eurus told me upon arriving at the gates of Hawthorne, he handed my luggage back to me. “Someone once told me that the ones the spirits like often go missing.”
So Eurus knew something like this? How unexpected. If he knew that much about the island why did he come to attend this school? I had always assumed that students chose to attend out of ignorance.
“Seriously?” But both Aaron and Donald seemed surprised hearing this. I take that back, it must not be common knowledge. Still, my question still stands. How does he know?
“The ones the spirits like? How can I make them not like me?”
Watching me for a while Eurus shook his head.
“…You’re too pure.”
He didn’t seem like he was going to respond but when I finally looked away he answered.
“Pure?” I echo, my brows furrowing.
“The spirits of this island are corrupted, but they like pure things. It reminds them of their origin. And in turn they’ll seek it out with the desire to corrupt it.”
“How do you know all this stuff Eurus?” Aaron asked the question I wanted to.
“That. . . Someone who once lived here told me.”
“And you still came here?”
“I’m not pure so…also this land protects men. So I’m fine.”
So he knew! So he knew all along huh. . .
With the protagonist it would probably take a whole season before he shared this information, no matter how many times she got herself in danger he’d always give her vague warnings so why was he sharing it all with Anais? Words can not described how shocked and confused I am. Was Anais Eurus’ first love or something? Or did he just see her as a friend? Perhaps fighting together against the nautilus made him feel close to her. . .true, technically that was a life or death experience, and though he hated women, she’d seem different as she was the only female mage who stepped up to fight. . .
“Don’t worry, Anais I got your back!” Aaron told me. His white knight instincts seemed triggered by this.
I just shook my head.
Even if I were to go missing, you’d probably all forget me so it’s fine. Of course, I couldn’t say that.
“I’ll look after myself. But thanks for all your help.” I looked at all three of them before doing a deep curtsy.
“The male and female dorms are on opposite sides of the campus right? I’ll be leaving now.”
It was when I received a letter in the mail that Sunday afternoon, that I realized I had entered a nightmare.
The trigger was the seal on the envelope. The motif of roses and thorns surrounding the silhouette of a raven. It was an acceptance letter from Hawthorne Academy.
Seeing it triggered my memories from my past life, a young college dropout who worked at a coffee shop, occasionally on my free days I would play video games to blow of steam and otome games when I didn’t feel like buying shoujo manga.
There was only one otome game that stood out to me for various reasons and that was Xoxo Iris, a mystery romance game in which the protagonist searched for her missing older sister who had gone missing at Hawthorne Academy. To play the game, the protagonist had to collect the belongings of the disappeared victims. One had to completely collect all the pages to a certain book in order to finish a episode or get closer to the more mysterious love interests in the game.
During the middle half of the game, the protagonist comes across the journal of a female student who had also gone missing from that school, she went by the name of Anais Letiffany.
The exact name of myself in this life.
Her journals held crucial information as to who was behind the girl’s disappearances. To discover more, the protagonist had to find multiple pages of her journal hidden throughout the school. Anais Letiffany had the same interests as the protagonist, only her situation was different.
“Isn’t this great milady, you’ve always wanted to attend the same school as Lady Amelie.” My personal maid, Esme seemed genuinely happy for me.
But at the moment nothing but dread filled me. At the moment I felt recalling my past memories made me feel a bit like a stranger to myself. To think that this whole time I had been unconsciously following the plot from the story!
Anais Letiffany had an older twin sister by the name of Amelie Letiffany. In this world where magic existed, my older twin sister Amelie was famous for her powerful magic and intelligence, she was accepted into Hawthorne Academy, a private magic institution located on Hawthorne Island. A small island located on the south coast of Briarlore Kingdom.
I had been a sickly and frail child growing up. After Amelie left for Hawthorne she sent me lots of letters about the people and friends she had made, she had even sent me a gift, one of those being a pendant that was a magic item. As the reason Amelie was so sick was due to too much mana, this item made it easier to fight against my illness and study hard so I could get accepted into Hawthorne too. Though, the family had been against it, they always wanted me to attend a school that was much closer, so that if something happened I would be within reach. . .
I squeezed the letter, my eyes skimming over it but I hadn’t read it at all. I set it aside for my maids to gather around it and rejoice. Their words of congratulations fell upon deaf ears.
In my head a clock was ticking.
Three years. The otome game starts in three years when Anais is a junior. In the beginning of the game its possible for the protagonist to befriend the Anais character even though she ends up disappearing in the later half of the game.
On the island of Hawthorne there are all various threats responsible for the female students of Hawthorne’s disappearances. Threats so powerful that they could erase the existence of another person. . . or the memories a select few might have had of the missing person. Many people remembered Anais after she disappeared, so its safe to assume she didn’t die. . . at least by the dark hand’s intervention.
You see, for Anais attending Hawthorne wasn’t an option.
Once Amelie dies, she will begin to haunt Anais. And according to Anais’ journal in the game, Amelie will appear wherever Anais is. She was said to be docile and helpful on normal days. She gives Anais hints and non-verbal warnings about the secrets of the school, but at night and sometimes on the full moon. . .just like the other ghosts of the victims at Hawthorne, she becomes a vengeful spirit only. . .she’s the most dangerous one. Unlike the other spirits who can play simple tricks like shoving you down the stairs, moving or throwing objects, Amelie, perhaps it’s due to her being such a powerful magician, can actually manifest herself and hunt you down. It won’t matter if you’re on Hawthorne Island or not.
She’s drawn to Anais like the Earth to the sun.
During the later half of the game when Anais disappears, Amelie becomes like a rabid dog without a leash. Something happens that makes Amelie stronger, so strong that she can move freely, so strong that Anais has to go into hiding. This is just my theory of course, I’d like to believe Anais didn’t die.
Anais although useful to the game is what one could classify as a pacemaker, the type of character that the creators go out of their way to pave the road for the protagonist to have an easier time juggling romantic relationships while trying to uncover the secrets of the game.
Word had reached my parents and older brothers of the news. Everyone was happy for me, though the worry was there in their eyes, they no longer tried to dissuade me from going. Also. . .no one mentioned Amelie.
It was. . . something hard to accept, these real memories that I had were just from a plot? And my beloved sister was, by this time no longer of this world? It seems that my family has already forgotten Amelie. . . when I asked one of the maids about her she gave me a blank expression.
And sure enough, that night I had my first encounter with her.
For some reason, I couldn’t sleep. When I opened my eyes, a girl wearing a dirty and torn uniform of Hawthorne Academy stood in front of me.
I froze. The girl walked out of sight, the sound of her footsteps resounding, the door to my room creaked open. Slowly, I sat up.
This wasn’t a game where I was safe ,separated from the horror behind all the stats and glass screen of a phone. This was real. In games, I wouldn’t hesitate to follow after the ghost, but right now I did so resisting the urge to run to Papa or my older brother’s room screaming.
Amelie waited down the hall, the side profile of her face was what I saw before she continued walking.
Sure enough she wanted me to follow. The door to the library opened.
I didn’t have to venture any further after opening it wider. Amelie was standing before a shelf. She dissipated from sight when a thick book fell with a loud thump. I hugged myself as I walked over to pick it up.
A hand touch me from behind and I nearly jumped out of my own skin.
It was just my older brother Clifton. Wavy silver hair and warm sleepy brown eyes.
“Ah, it’s just you brother. . .”
It was no surprise he came, his room was right across the library and this book was so thick he must’ve heard it fall.
“What’re you doing up so late at night?”
“Ah, I was just doing some late night studying.”
“I know you got over your illness but try not to push yourself too much, you don’t want yourself relapsing do you?”
“R-right. . .”
He turned to head back to his room and I picked up the book and brought it back to my room. Biting my lip as I opened the cover. It suddenly made sense why the Anais character knew so much about the happenings of Hawthorne in her journals.
The Letiffany household descended from a long line of mages that specialized in light magic, this was no secret however, alchemy also seemed to be in the mix. There were various potions and herbs that could scare away evil spirits or even vanquish them.
But how would one go about vanquishing ALL the evil spirits of Hawthorne?
Wet sounds could be heard from the back of the library if one drew close enough to the bookshelf with the wagging dog poster. They’d hear the soft sighs of Celessia and the hushed voice of Draco saying “Shhhh, calm down.”
He was on top of her, the apex of his nether regions buried deep inside her, this sight blocked by her knee length skirt.
“Stop. . .” Celessia’s face was flushed with color. Her pleading was met with a powerful kiss from Draco who began to slowly grind her insides into oblivion.
Her back arched, the small mounds of white flesh glistened from the light of the sunrise poking up from the balcony window they were lying down next to. Ecstasy was written all over her face. She knew she should stop, that they shouldn’t be doing this but her words were last on Draco. He had her completely pinned, by the wrists and lower half.
“It makes me happy knowing I can please you like this, Kevin can’t do this can he? He only knows how to make you cry.” He paused his movement to plant a kiss on her temple. “I love you Celessia.”
“You can’t… Our parents…”
“It’s okay. I’ll take responsibility.”
“But I don’t… I don’t love you!”
Draco just stared at her.
“I mean I do. But you’re just a friend to me…with Kevin its…”
“You are aware he’s been sleeping around with Eclair right?”
“. . .” Celessia’s face fell. Her small lips pursed before she nodded.
“And you still love him?”
“… I used to…?”
“Then you should break things off.”
“I figured he would when he got tired of me-
“Would you listen to yourself?!” Draco interrupted.
“Where’s your self respect? Why do you allow him to walk all over you?”
“I’m not- kya!”
Draco accelerated his hip thrusts the sound of their intercourse growing louder.
“Stop it… its morning now! Anyone could come in and see us!”
Draco stopped. A sigh escaped him. He knew the second he released her he’d probably lose her forever.
“You’re a beautiful, sweet girl who’s got so much going for you. You might never want to talk to me again after this but I wanted to make you feel good. I wanted you to know how much I like you… and how much Kevin deserves to lose you… break up with him, not for me but for yourself.”
Celessia opened her mouth to speak when Draco pulled out. Inbetween her legs felt numb, it was an extremely satisfying sensation. Relief, disappointment and another feeling she was unwilling to recognize swirled inside her heart. She scoured the ground with her eyes for her white panties only to have it returned by Draco. He had already rebuttoned his shirt and was now tucking it away in his pants.
As he zipped it up His eyes met hers.
She looked away. Draco, he was known to many girls as the Prince of Frozen Roses, or the King’s advisor to some, she had always found this name and fans ridiculous but the nickname fit his image to a T. He had pale platinum blonde hair and milky blue irises. She had known him for many years but she wouldn’t call him her childhood friend. He was Kevin’s best friend. His confession came completely out of the blue that she found it somewhat hard to believe, even now. She felt as if she was dreaming on a cold winter night. She quickly put back on her bra and shirt.
“You missed a button.” Draco unbuttoned her shirt as he rebuttoned it properly his gaze found hers.
Celessia looked away again.
She had wanted to say something but she could no longer talk to him the way she used to. His expression was always blank when she spoke to him, she always figured he didn’t like her very much, compared to the expressions he wore when he spoke to Coby, Kevin and Eclair she had always felt left out of the group.
What if this was all just some cruel prank?
“…Thanks. I’ve got it.” She zipped up her skirt and stared at her stockings. Anyone that saw it would assume she had been mauled by a dog.
“Sorry about that.”
Celessia always wore white stockings. They were her trademark accessory, without them she didn’t feel like herself. Who was she now really?
Draco offered up one of her wedge heeled mary janes apologetically.
“…Thanks but you don’t-
He put the shoe onto her foot. He paused as if tempted to kiss her shoe. Celessia quickly pulled away. She put on her other shoe, grabbed her blazer and fished out her phone.
Classes would be starting soon.
The sound of the balcony opened.
“We can’t be caught in here.” Draco said before scaling it. Celessia rushed over only to find him looking up at her with his arms held out.
She never thought she’d see a model student like him be willing to scale a fence. It’s something Coby would do. Looks like Coby was beginning to rub off on him huh?
Celessia threw her legs over the railing and pushed herself off. Draco caught her with both arms before releasing her.
“. . .I’d walk you back to the dorm, but if you’re seen with me…”
“I understand. We should part ways here.”
He knew that but when she said it he couldn’t help clutching his chest.
“Sorry…for keeping you up so late.”
But he wasn’t sorry for pouncing her huh?
“…” It was strange. She had been raped but she enjoyed it. Some part of her had been disappointed that things had to end. She had wanted to respond to him. Tell him “it’s okay” like she always did whenever she faced a minor inconvenience. But it wasn’t okay. It shouldn’t have been okay. So why was she okay with it? True she had always wanted to be friends with Draco and Kevin since they grew up attending the same school but she didn’t harbor any affections for him like the way she did Kevin. Maybe. Her desire to befriend and know Draco had definitely been stronger. She admired his intelligence, his calm and collected demeanor. She like how condescending he became whenever Coby broke the school rules or complained about bad grades, or how he sighed whenever he caught Eclair snacking on sweets in the morning. But overall he was just a cold person. He never spoke more than five words to outsiders. Celesdia wished she had the courage to be like him, beina bale to draw the line between good and bad behaviors, things she could and wouldn’t accept. He had always been something like a secret role model.
“This… Was such a major inconvenience, I don’t know what to say. Still, thanks to what you said…I feel better somehow.” Right when Draco thought she was ignoring him she had finally spoken. “So…thank you…for your advice.”
Draco blinked at her. He seemed thrown off.
“Then, goodbye.” She spun on her heel and walked away, she didn’t look back not even once. Unbeknownst to him she broke out into a sprint after she turned the corner.
Celessia Rhinea, she had cloudy platinum blonde hair and serene dark milky grey eyes. She was referred to as ‘The Angel’ by males and females alike when she wasn’t looking. She was truly the epitome of an angel too much in fact. She let the people around her get away with too much. Telling them its okay, and never getting angry no matter what. Draco had found her both incredibly naive but also fascinating. How could someone be so tolerant? It wasn’t until he caught her secretly crying in the school garden one day that he knew the angel act was just that. It’s not that she wasn’t bothered, she just didn’t want to be hated. She didn’t want to argue and possibly lose her friends. He found this puppy dog attitude disgusting and yet each time he always found his gaze following her wherever she was. Seeing her get walked on was painful, even though it wasn’t any of his business. Why did he care so much? Why did he get so pissed at Kevin sleeping with Eclair? Everyone in their circle knew about it but no one had ever spoken about it. Bringing it up to Kevin was like asking to lose all her friends. So he could understand why she feigned ignorance.
She went back to her dorm to shower and attended school as if nothing was normal. Eclair was the first person at the lunch table. The two greeted each other with smiles.
It was hard to accept it. Celessia was the first friend Eclair made when she transferred to their school. A beautiful redhead with sapphire blue eyes, she was tall with a big bust and thick thighs. Formerly a gymnast. She was sexy even without doing anything, the type of girl every girl hated and every boy dreamed about. Befriending Celessia was akin to receiving a social pardon of the god’s. But it was hard for Celessia, when someone had been nothing but nice to you and they betray you. It was hard to accept, some part of you wanted to be in denial while the other felt like the biggest fool in the world.
“Ooooh. No stockings today.” Eclair noticed right away.
“Mmm. Today was laundry day, my last clean pair I ripped by accident this morning.”
“I get it. Stockings tear so easily, thats why I never bother with them.” Eclair laughed.
“Yeah.” Celessia smiled back but there was something off about it.
“You okay?” Eclair asked.
A question sign hung over Celessia’s head. The Angel smiled.
“You seem tired.”
“Hmm? Oh no. I’m feeling very well today, better than I usually am really.”
“The weather is quite nice out.” Eclair noted looking at the sky. One by one, the regular group joined the table. Leon, William, Rebekka and then finally Coby, Draco and Kevin.
Kevin sat down next to her wrapping an arm around her waist. His hand caressing her thighs.
“No stockings today, whats up with that?” He asked her looking down.
Draco looked up from his textbook-he always did his homework as soon as he was done with classes.
The Angel smiled.
“Today’s laundry day…um, Kevin there’s something I need to tell you in private.”
Eclair looked up from her tray, her eyes widening a little.
“Something you can’t say in front of us? That’s a first.”
She doesn’t want the two of us alone.
Kevin eyed her before returning his gaze to Celessia his arm slowly unwrapping itself. The feeling of it leaving. She recalled one day feeling as if he had suddenly distanced himself from her, just like this.
“Is it serious?”
“Hmmm. I wouldn’t say it’s serious but…”
Kevin hated it when she was indecisive. He sighed.
“Just tell me here.”
Draco’s gaze bored into the two as did Coby.
Celessia watched him silently for a while.
“Are you sure?”
“Are you really really sure?”
Celessia slowly stood. “I’m tired of this… So I’m breaking up with you.”
Everyone at the table looked in their direction at that moment. The silence was thick.
“. . .Is this a joke?” Kevin couldn’t take her seriously with that sweet smile on her face.
Kevin furrowed his brows at her. She was always cheerful and he realized it was a mask, but he couldn’t understand why she would still smile in this sort of situation.
“. . .why?” The words left Kevin’s mouth.
Celessia’s smile receeded.
“Why? Why are you asking?”
“Why am I asking?” Kevin stood. “I have a right to know don’t I? What did I do?”
Celessia blinked at him. Her smile finally vanishing.
“There were a lot of things…”
“What things?!” He drilled her.
Kevin looked to Draco who held him with an icy gaze.
“Are you seriously going to stand there and ask her what you did wrong?”
Kevin opened his mouth only to snap it shut.
“I thought you’d be happy…” Celessia muttered. She picked up her empty tray to leave, only to get grabbed by the wrist.
Kevin Holmes. He was athletic, a diligent student not to mention handsome. His eyes were sharp and intimidating. He had a presence similar to an Emperor’s. That’s why when he showed an interest in Celessia, and began to pursue her she felt like cupid had knocked her out with a brick because she never would have seen it coming.
Kevin did like her. But overtime he would soon find himself disgusted with her indecisive and doormat tendencies. She never got mad or angry, so when he did he felt like the worst person in the world. He wanted someone to fight back. And that someone was Eclair Roads. She was sassy whenever confronted. Kevin liked how she handled people that tried to be rude to her. He liked how rude she was to him when they were alone. And then it happened. He didn’t think the sexual attraction would go that far but each time he found himself going back for more. But relationship wise, Eclair was too spicy for his tastes, she was sensitive and sometimes she’d flip from being happy to pissed then sad, and happy again. He just wanted a sweet girl with a backbone. If he had someone who could be both sweet and spicy, if he could find a girl like that… before he knew it he found himself dipping himself in both cups.
“Celes…” Kevin started to speak. Finally he sighed. “Shit. Fine. I’m sorry.”
This wasn’t the reaction she had been expecting. She blinked at him. Why does he look so disappointed as if he’s the victim? For the first time Celessia’s eyebrows knitted together and her eyes narrowed into slits.
“You’re… sorry? Okay. Sure.”
“Wait, Kevin is the one who’s getting dumped so why does he have to apologize?” Eclair asked. Suddenly pissed.
Was she pissed because Kevin didn’t look happy?
Coby scratched his head, his expression uncomfortable.
“Yo Eclair I don’t think this is the best time.”
“What’re you talking about? Seriously what did he do wrong?”
“Are you stupid or are you just pissed he’s not happy about breaking up with me?” Celessia asked her.
Eclair’s anger dissipated for a split second. “What?”
Whenever someone got mad, Celessia always appeased them by apologizing even if she was in the right but… Draco sipped a cup of soup from his thermos hiding his smirk.
“You don’t have the right to be angry. I should be angry!” She yelled.
Everyone in the outdoor cafeteria was staring at them now.
Celessia slapped away his hand.
“I had figured you’d break up with me sooner or later but when you never did, I thought you really liked me you know?”
“. . .”
Celessia squeezed her hands before mustering up the courage to yell.
“You’re just… a greedy bastard!”
William nearly choked on his milk as he tried not to laugh.
“Did she just curse?”
No one here was taking her seriously! Celessia pursed her lips. Anger and disappointment etched on her face.
It was the first time he was seeing her like this but… Kevin’s nether region became stiff. She looked really cute when she was angry!
When she stormed off, Kevin watched her go. His feet moved.
Draco and Coby stopped him.
“Dude, just let her go.”(Coby)
“…Such a waste.” He muttered. The thought of having someone so cute underneath him. How come he didn’t taste her before? Not fucking her when he had the chance. He was already regretting it.
Eclair watched on her jaw tense. Guys went crazy for girls like her but they also went crazy for girls as sweet as Celessia, some part of her had always felt guilty, and also inferior. She knew she couldn’t compete with Celessia for some reason. Today confirmed her fears. Even after sitting down, Kevin’s gaze kept flickering to the door and he kept jiggling his leg as if impatient to leave.
No one talked about what just happened. Only silence remained.
She was going to jump.
Maybe it was the memory of Mom overlapping with the scene before me, but my feet moved on their own, racing toward the edge and over as she stepped forward.
Her surprised eyes meet mine, hatt was what made me come to my senses.
Yui Akagi, a girl I’ve been bullying for the past two semesters.
“Dammit, if you’re going to commit suicide, don’t do it in front of me!”
This world was made of two people. Punching bags, and kick-boxers. Kick-boxers are also punching bags and punching bags kick-boxers. If I could endure my shitty life, she could damn well too!
I gripped Yui’s arm tight and meant to pull, but it had just rained earlier that morning, my foot easily slipped off the ledge and our bodies plummeted towards the wet concrete pavement together.
My Dad always told me that people are born into this world alone and die alone. That I should only ever rely on myself. He wasn’t wrong in theory, but there’s always a variable. Life will always throws something into the mix.
“You tried to save her, why?” I remember hearing a voice.
When I woke I opened my eyes, to find myself staring up staring at a gaping hole in the ceiling. I sit up and find myself in a shack of some sort, and I wasn’t alone. There were tons of kids around, wearing nothing but brown clothes that have the bulky shape of potato bags. On their chests, there was a number.
I stare down at my own. 4017.
Now that I look down, I see how small my feet are and how short my arms and legs seem, there a tan I don’t recall having.
“Didn’t that girl die a few minutes ago?” I hear someone say.
If everyone hadn’t been glancing in my direction, I wouldn’t have known they were talking about me.
“I was sure she was dead.” I heard someone say.
There’s a chain around my ankle. Every child here wore one. Slaves, I thought. I didn’t really feel anything at the moment, none of it felt real. I just stood there staring up at the gaping hole in the ceiling and at the clear blue sky.
The door to the shack opened with a bang.
“Come out!” Someone ordered. There was a sharp sound, a whip?
Everyone poured out of the shack. Next to it was a lake, and in the lake canoes, lined up in a row. I noticed this first but for facing the woman holding the whip. There were people dressed in white, all handsome in appearance. Their expressions, however, were cold and unfeeling as they ordered us onto the boats by number.
The two numbers closest together boarded one canoe.
“4016 and 4017.”
The woman jerked her head at us in the direction of a white canoe. I walk off and wait. My senses only returned to me upon laying eyes on my new partner.
As soon as I saw her I was annoyed. She was still frail and thin looking, the only thing that changed about her was her bubblegum pink hair and blue eyes, which were now black and dark grey. I had yet to see my own reflection, but I’m sure my appearance had altered as well.
What was this, reincarnation? No, they said I died earlier so this is something like transmigration.
The pretty purple haired lady cracked her whip on the ground next to us. I board the boat, Yui- no 4016, following. We were instructed to follow after the group of men in white, ahead. I take a peek at my reflection now. Platinum blonde hair, and lime green eyes with cracked pink lips. Before my hair and eyes were just a plain brown. Shouldn’t I be getting punished? I actually like my new appearance, I prefer it a lot more over the old one actually.
My mood improved, we paddle together with the others following the men in white. I had a lot of questions in my mind, like who were these people and where they were taking us. I find it hard that people who were so cold to children would have something good in store for us but I don’t think my soul would transmigrate into another body only to die again. Or at least, I wanted to believe that.
I’m going to skip over the unimportant stuff. It took us a day and a half to get to our destination point, halfway Yui flopped forward, her face pale so I ended up doing most of the rowing. Just like on our last camping trip. Why is she so damn weak?
On the day that I met her, my parents got divorced. I checked out of the hotel without notifying Dad and waited in the front lobby with my luggage. My child hood friend promised to pick me up, hours passed. He still had yet to arrive.
“Excuse me miss, where did you get your shoes?”
I thought she would walk past me not stop in front of me. A middle-aged woman wearing luxury designer clothes, they weren’t flashy designs but I recognized them. One of my Aunts likes to collect the magazines featuring that brand of clothes you see. She, the lady before me, was wearing an all nude guipiure lace dress that complimented her age and figure. And she was asking where I got my shoes? I look down at my platform heeled loafers.
“My curiosity was killing me you see.”
The shoes were a gift from that old friend of mine, the one I was waiting on, he made it himself. When I explain this to the woman she nods at me while smiling, a little light in her eyes as she looks me over.
“Are you going somewhere?”
“I’m waiting on that friend.”
The old woman smiles softly hearing that.
“I’ve been watching, you’ve been standing here for three hours now.”
Only three hours? It felt like five. My cheeks grow warm as I, who had been standing here with my arms folded, unfold them and touch my cheeks self consciously. I never paid attention to my surroundings that much had other people been staring at me? I look around but everyone else was going on with their day. It was then that I realized no one would have noticed that I would have been standing here for three hours if they hadn’t been around for three hours themselves. I cast a glance at this rich lady and she smiles warmly at me.
“How about you sit with me?” She offered. I follow her hesitantly at first to a lounge room seated next to the windows out looking the hotel’s front. I sit across from her on a sofa next to a pillar shielding my view of the outside. A waiter appears almost immediately. Normally you’d have to go to the hotel’s restaurant to find them but they came here on their own accord. Could it be this woman was the wife of the hotel’s owner? Or perhaps she owned it herself? I pull at my collar, feeling anxious.
“Would you like some coffee?” The Madam glanced at me as the waiter handed her a menu.
“No, thank you.” I refuse the menu about to be handed to me.
Her eyebrows raised slightly as she tried again.
The waiter holds out the menu for me to see instead. I feel bad so I don’t bother persisting and look it over.
“Dandelion tea… with some honey please.” I tell this to the waiter who scribbles it down before turning to the Madam.
“Dandelion tea. . .I’ll try that with honey as well.” The woman turned to their waiter who nodded before retreating away.
“I hope you don’t mind, you see I’m waiting for my son to come pick me up. Humor an old woman for now would you? It’s not often that I get to sit and chat with the younger generation.” She says with smiling eyes.
“Haha…I’m a bit boring.” I laugh a little while squeezing the hands in my lap as I try not to play with my fingers.. I’m afraid I’m not exactly a good pick if she was looking to learn about the younger class of commoners. I’m often told by my friends that I’m like an old woman. Sitting there I begin to sweat a little, what was she expecting from me I wonder?
She asked me my age, my favorite color as well as my hobbies. It was only after telling her mine that I realized how boring I was.
“I like reading, watching movies, writing poetry, and baking when I have time…” Cringing at myself I decide not to mention the rest.
Her dark eyes twinkle. She asked me if I liked watching plays and classical music which I said yes. Then she asked about my talents.
I blink at her. Was it me or was her gaze beginning to harden? I blink a few more times as my mind pulled a blank. Under her stare I couldn’t even think. Talents, do I have any talents? The waiter returned with our tea and suddenly the middle aged woman laughs.
“Look at you, I made you uncomfortable didn’t I?”
Trying to be polite, I smile as my tea is placed before me. I wait for her to take a sip of her tea first before I pour some honey and milk into my cup.
“My apologies dear it’s not my intention, it’s just that I’m terribly curious.” She goes on to say?
But why? I wonder but don’t ask as I take a sip of my tea.
“My son is about your age, though I love him – there’s no doubt in my mind that daughters are better. I was just wondering if I were to have a daughter what would she be like? And then I saw you… you reminded me of my younger self.” She took a sip.
Surely not. She was a rich woman who had everything and I was no different from an orphan now.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” She asks with eager eyes.
I nearly spit out my tea.
“What about the gentleman you’re waiting on?”
I blush. How did she know it was a male?
“You’re mistaken ma’am, he’s just a friend.”
“But he’s a very special friend isn’t he?”
Her eyes smile at me. She wasn’t wrong. My body stiffens. It was like she could see right through me! I pretend to study my tea. My flustered expression stares back at me.
“When I was your age, My first crush was on a photographer I met in college.” She started. Who said anything about crushing on him? Was I that obvious?! If she a total stranger could tell that then… I purse my lips. The lady continued. “ I had been courted by many boys back then but only he left the deepest impression on me. One day we promised to meet at the park and take photographs for my portfolio, you see, back then I wanted to be a model.”
She tells me this with a far off look in her eye. “Back then,” She had said. Did her dream never come true even though she’s well off now?
“I waited and waited until the sun began to set. That very same day on my way back I was in a daze and walked out into traffic, I nearly got run over by the man who is currently my husband.” She speaks her voice tinged with laughter. “Back then he was the son of a tailor, on a delivery. I remember him falling off his bike and his parcel fell into a puddle. He cared more about the parcel than he did about my injuries… ha ha… I should have known from then on he’d be a workaholic.” She looked alive as she spoke about her past but at the end a lonely expression dulled the excited light in her eyes. As to be expected, money can’t buy happiness, perhaps contentment but not much else. Hearing her story made me feel closer, she reminded me of my Aunt Linda, who I had been hoping would come to take me with her to the UK, but she had married a few weeks ago. Her new husband was Chinese and she had told me with much glee how much she looked forward to being able to visit me more often, but, that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to escape this place.
“You…said your son’s coming to pick you up?” I ask trying to change the subject.
She nods slowly then, as if recalling something rolls her eyes.
“Well technically it’s my driver but my son will be there. We’re supposed to meet my husband later to celebrate my son’s acceptance into college.”
Must be a prestigious one…Feeling jealous, I sip my tea. I would also be starting college soon. It was on that day I got accepted my parents told me they’d be divorcing.
“So tell me,” The lady leans forward in her seat. what’s a young girl such as yourself doing here all alone?”
“Oh, I was here with my parents but-“
“Mother.” A cold masculine voice sounds off from beside me and the old woman looks up out the window. I couldn’t see who. I didn’t want to seem nosy by bending over to look so I stayed put.
“Oh, he’s here. Well, it was nice chatting with you miss…” She pauses realizing that she didn’t know my name.
I put down my teacup and rise to see her off, the waiter returns with her card and the woman signs the receipt before dismissing the waiter.
“It’s Qianru…Yu Qianru” (Qianru means nice smile, Yu means Give? So Give nice smile)
“Yu Qianru?” The woman mutters my name softly before nodding agreeably. “It fits you. My name is Shihong Fan. If we meet again just call me Ms. Fan.”
“Certainly, it was nice talking to you, Ma’am,” Not that the chances were likely that we’d ever meet again.
I stand and bow.
In the end my friend didn’t show up, so I took a cab and drove to his studio. I’m well aware of how he gets when he’s focused on his work. He’s been studying to be a fashion designer for as long as I could remember but I was his friend of fifteen years, and during a time like this shouldn’t he be here for me? After the cab drops me off I start walking only to slow down immediately.
There was a couple up ahead, their lips were locked together and the boy held the girl so close to him, so tightly. You could feel the passion they held for each other just with one glance. My anger had been doused with water, and then electrified. I could barely breathe.
I hold my chest and try to breathe. Tears stung my eyes. We weren’t dating, we weren’t dating but still I… Suddenly recalling Mrs. Fan’s story, I smile to myself somewhat bitterly before backing away. She said we seemed alike, perhaps we really are. That day I hung out at a cafe nearby and tried to think. All the while I sit there and sift through my thoughts and feelings. I was probably just like a sister to him huh? I try not to feel insulted. I who had been at his side for practically his whole life wasn’t chosen. I who know him better than anyone! I bite my bottom lip as my eyes begin to sting again. I wouldn’t cry. I’ve done enough crying this month. I won’t allow them to continue to make me cry!
As I practice breathing Dad calls. I wait a bit but when it continues ringing I concede.
“Hello?” My tone was full of annoyance but the second I hear the news my heart drops.
I rush over to the hospital given by the nurse on the phone. A nurse was waiting in the lobby. Normally they don’t do that but I don’t think too much of this.
When I nod she shows me up the elevator.
“Please follow me.”
I bite my lip, my hands squeeze tightly on my skirt. The elevators door open and the nurse steps out. I follow her into a hall. At the same time a doctor came out and in the hall there was a face I recognized.
This woman was Dad’s mistress. Di Lily. Lily’s eyes were teary.
“Were you together with him?” My voice was shaking. I came back from the court house alone because my parents dropped me off there. I was too upset to ask them where they were going. Don’t tell me they both ran off to both their other lovers?
Trembling, my tears begin to fall as I slowly join Lily’s side before the operation door.
“He…he saved me.” Lily kept muttering but my eyes were glued on the door.
Dad- Daddy, up till the big news I had always called him that. My parents were both workaholics, but Daddy always made time for me even though he was busy. My parents never argued before my eyes so I never suspected anything. I only learned of their misdeeds later from my gossip loving relatives, and now it had been confirmed before my very eyes!
It had all been a lie. Those smiling faces and laughs. Those two… they had just been waiting to get rid of me so they could live their own lives. Dad had to live, that way I could keep on hating him, because if he dies… then I’d really want to forgive him. I’d think of nothing but my love for him, of the good times when they played me for a fool!
The doors open. The doctors emerge and I straighten, my feet glued to the floor as they walk over.
“How is he?” Lily beats me to the punch. I wanted to open my mouth but my lips were glued too. I could only swallow and listen.
“The surgery was successful.”
Relief lifted the weight from my soul. I let out a breath and hold my chest before slowly turning to leave. Lily calls after me.
“If he’s fine, that’s good, I’ll be leaving now.” I half-whisper.
Everyone stares in surprise at me.
Lily looks at me like I’m inhuman.
My gaze shifts from her to the doctors who calm themselves.
“He will still need time to recover of course.”
“We should take turns visiting him in the hospital.” Lily tells me.
“Take turns?” I blink at her. “You don’t work, what could you possibly have to do all day?”
“You… how dare you talk to me that- well then, you just graduated from high school and you have yet to start college tell me what will you be doing all day?!” She seemed as if she was trying not to lose her temper.
I stare at her. Dad and Mom broke apart our family so they could live their own lives. I’ve been cut off from both strings so what was with her? Acting like they still wanted me around? Once parents get divorced it’s not just ex-wife, ex-husband but ex-Father and ex-Mother, my ex-parents.
“I’m… I won’t get in the way of you two newly weds. You helped break apart my family so be sure you take care of him.” I take a step back and bow deeply.
“Please, don’t abandon him.”
Lily was speechless. I walk away before she can say anything.
The reason why they waited until I got accepted into college was because I wouldn’t be around them anymore. They wouldn’t have to deal with me then, that action… it was equivalent to abandonment. Rather than them choosing to abandon me, I was more upset over the fact that they fed me a false childhood. I’d rather see my parents argue before my very eyes and spit words of venom at each other than recalling a happy childhood, sensing nothing amiss and feeling very confused and lost. Why was this happening? When did it start? I wanted to know but it didn’t matter now.
They asked me who I wanted to live with, but whether they really meant it was questionable. It was hard to trust them. Could you blame me? It was hard to trust anyone knowing that they could go around masking their own emotions for eighteen years.
I said I’d leave it to Lily but… each day I found myself visiting the hospital anyway standing on the outside of Dad’s room but never going inside. He seemed happy with Lily visiting him. She’d feed him fruit, they’d talk and laugh. Each time I’d tell myself there was no point to my being here… and yet I find myself here anyway.
In the hospital’s food court I add a new poem to my poetry journal when I hear running.
I look up from the table and see Ciu Rome, my ex-best friend with his new lover from before.
“Why haven’t you been answering your phone?! Where have you been staying this whole time and why didn’t you tell me about your Dad?!” He demanded.
“Why are you yelling at me?” I frown at him. “I should be yelling at you!” I stood up and yelled back. I could feel the stares of everyone in the room on us now.
“You made me wait seven hours and have the nerve to ask me where I’ve been staying? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m living with my Aunt, and I didn’t tell you about my Dad because I…” I eye his new girlfriend standing at his side and smile. “Saw you were busy. Who’d want to bother you?”
Ciu Rome exchanges an awkward look with his girlfriend before introducing her as Pepper Rose, a foreigner he met at a friend’s party.
“I’m sorry! I forgot. . . but you still could have answered your phone.” Ciu Rome seems sincerely apologetic, which only amplifies my disappointment. He knew it was a stressful time for me yet he forgot about me! Some friend!
“Clearly, I didn’t- and still don’t want to talk to you.” I lower myself back into my seat and continue writing in my journal.”To be honest I don’t know why you even came here. How did you even get here anyway?”
“That…I came with your Mom…” Ciu Rome says. I stop writing.
“Look I’m really sorry, and I’m sorry I yelled earlier, I wasn’t thinking. It is my fault, I know but when you didn’t answer my calls I thought the worse had happened to you. Your Mother says you haven’t been answering her calls either and your Dad says you haven’t even visited him! So when I saw you I lost it.” He explains.
“So you can remember to care? How nice. Unfortunately I’m not in the mood to talk.”
Pepper huffs at me.
“What’s your deal? Eveyone’s been worried about you!”
“Bitch what the fuck do you know?” I snap. Pepper makes a face and Rome holds her back as he warns me.
“That was uncalled for, apologize.”
“You apologize! You’ve got no business talking as if you know what’s going on! And you! You weren’t there for me when I needed you and I just want to be alone right now, why the FUCK can’t you understand that?! All of you have been only thinking of yourselves why can’t I be?! Huh?! PISS OFF!” I’ve never been one to curse at others externally, only internally and now the feelings I’ve been suppressing were streaming out.
A nurse approaches us.
“Excuse me, please lower your voices or else I will have to ask you to leave.”
It was then that I remembered I was in a cafeteria with other patients, visitors and staff.
“Sorry.” I mutter my apologies to the nurse. With my head down, I grab my things and run out of the hospital. As I walk to the bus stop, my hatred brewed. Looks like I’d have to really stop myself from going to the hospital now!
Whenever I love a person they don’t share the same feelings, whenever I trust a person they flip the tables on me. It was then and there that I decided that I wouldn’t love or trust anyone!- That is until a nice black car pulled up at the bus stop in front of me and the window rolled down.
“I thought it was you, what a coincidence!”
Her appearance here caught me off guard. I hadn’t forgotten her face, still it was shocking to see her here, again.
“Ms. Fan,” I dip my head. “Hello.” Would she remember me? She had to if she stopped in front of me right?
“What’re you doing here?” She asks me.
“I was visiting a relative.”
“Oh? I was also here for something similar. Can I give you a lift?”
Seeing that I was hesitant Ms. Fan laughs.
“I was heading on my way to see my son’s cello recital after this. Did you want to come with me?”
“Qianru!” I was thinking of refusing when Ciu Rome, and Mom spotted me from afar.
Ms. Fan’s gaze shifts to the direction of the sound but she doesn’t question my sudden decision. The chauffeur opens the door on the other side and holds it open for me as I enter.
As expected of Ms. Fan, the inside of the car was. Very fancy. There were as it really okay to accompany a woman I barely knew to a piano recital? I eye Ms. Fan, she looked dressed up but not too dressed up. If it was a recital for the rich everyone would probably be dressed like Ms. Fan. I was just wearing my usual sleeveless turtleneck dress with ballet flats.
Ms. Fan removes a necklace of pearls from her neck.
We arrive at an auditorium uptown. The limo lets us out at the entrance and as we enter a woman in a suit steps forward holding out a box to me. I look to Ms. Fan who nods. The woman in a suit opens the box revealing black lace gloves and pearl clip on earrings.
“I didn’t want to overwhelm you so they were purchased from a local outlet.” Ms. Fan explains.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” I agreed to go with her without thinking too much about it. When she made the offer, she was probably joking and wasn’t actually expecting me to accept. Thinking this I felt a little down. I slip on the gloves and put on the earrings as I follow Ms. Fan up the steps.
“Don’t be sorry. I was the one who offered, and honestly I’m happy, usually I have no one to accompany me on outings like these.” She reassures me. Dear God was this woman a telepath?
We enter the auditorium and I nearly stumble as I look around, it was as if I took a portal and got transported back in time. This was a Chinese auditorium yet Western influences could be seen, it was pretty fancy.
The sack of potatoes crashed to the ground.
A little girl with a silky black bob and ruby red eyes stands with balled fists.
“NO! I’m not getting married! Not ever!”
The head of the Voung family household and the Tian family household stare at the young girl in shock.
The little girl who that the Tian family had adopted was a quiet, obedient child. Why had her personality taken a sudden turn for the worst at the talk of her betrothal?
Only the child herself would know.
“Now, now Kazuki everyone gets married at some point in their lives…” The wife of the Tian family household who was known to get along with the child tries her luck to appease her.
“Who are you to decide that I get married?!” However the child’s mood only worsened as she glared daggers at the woman who had been nothing but a mother to her. Her husband exchanges looks with Mr. Voung before nodding at each other.
It would seem that the girl’s strong feelings possibly had something to do with her unknown past. For now it would be best to lay such talks to a rest.
“Now, now, Kazu… it’s okay. You won’t be getting married anytime soon.” Mr. Tian smiles at the girl who’s furious gaze calms. She looks at him with deep concern shimmering in her little red eyes.
“Really?” she asked.
Kazuki held a hand to her heart in relief, she did not pick up on his underlying meaning. She would not be getting married anytime soon, but she would eventually. The Voung family had taken a special liking to the girl especially after seeing how well she got along with their son.
Over the years talks of the engagement were brought up again but Kazuki had better control of her anger. Though she was still against the marriage she didn’t lash out as she did in the past, seeing this the Tian family took this as a sign of her giving them the green light.
five years later…
Kazuki throws her fan which severs a red goblin’s head from its body.
“Phew.” That was the last of them, Kazuki uses the sleeve of her shirt to wipe the sweat from her brow. Her vision blurs a bit as she stumbles for a second. She leans herself against a tree. She had underestimated the tenacity of the red goblins, she spent two days fighting them off and now that she had killed the last of them her fatigue began to kick in. Kazuki strings the goblin corpses together.
Red goblins were vary rare. Normally she could just string a bunch of goblin ears together and take them back to the adventurer’s guild to have them sold but red goblin skin and blood could fetch her a hefty sum. Over the years, Kazuki has been saving up in order to pay the Tian family before she flees from home. She was fifteen years old. Once she turned sixteen she would be wed to her fiancee of five years.
The goblin corpses had been bundled into burritos. She quickly lifted them only to fail. She was too tired. This was bad, other monsters would be attracted to the blood here.
“Need a hand?” A familiar voice rang out from the tree above her and Kazuki looked up to see the third eldest son of the Voung family and her betrothed, Zhong Voung.
Before Kazuki could answer he descended from the tree, his long pony tail trailing behind him as he lands and seizes the bundle from Kazuki’s hands. Kazuki blinks at him. Zhong was just a year older than her but technically he looked four years older than that. His tall height infuriated Kazuki who felt like she was losing to him somehow.
“I don’t need your help, but thanks.” She reaches for the bundle only to have Zhong distance himself as she does so.
“Red goblins huh? Must’ve been hard. I heard they’re really lively.”
“Kazuki frowns. Why was that whenever they met he always ended up taunting her? When they were younger he wasn’t like that.
“Give it back. Please.”
Zhong tilts his head at her, before jumping up into the tree and glancing back.
“Grrr!” Her impatience ignited, Kazuki pushes off the ground and after him, they jump from tree top to tree top, whizzing fast enough to create a strong breeze. As Kazuki pursues her vision blurs again as her fatigue resurfaced and she falls.
She blinks her heavy lids only to make out the face of Zhong smiling calmly back at her.
“You normally don’t overdo it like this. Why are you pushing yourself so hard?” His voice was faint but she could still hear him talking. As her eyelids grew heavy the only response she could give was to pass out in his arms.
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