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!