In the training grounds of the Kilenloth Church, The Saint and Hero exchanged sword strikes. Each strike is heavy and done with fluidity.
”Im proud of you, you know that? ” The Hero said.
Their blades continued to clash and echo through the facility.
”Just watch me, ” said The Saint as she stumbled a little from each strike.
And after being pushed back and on the ground, The Heros blade was at her throat.
”But… you aren there yet, are you? ” The Hero said with a gentle smile on her face.
e just too strong, ” The Saint said as she puffed her cheeks.
”Come on… don sulk now…. How about we invite Keilyn and go to a cafe? ”
”…Always treating me like a child…. ”
The Hero reached out to help The Saint back up on her feet, and as she got up, she received a firm and gentle hug.
e adorable, you know that? ” The Hero said.
”…..Hmpf, its always like this… but I don hate it…. ”
— :::: —
Near the coast of a prestigious school, a young man walks as he eyes the ocean. The spring winds are refreshing and cool. And as he looks up at the clear sky, he ponders.
[Do I want it with sugar or without sugar?]
Thats right… now in front of a vending machine, he wonders if he should pick sweet or regular black coffee. This is because he has yet to decide what sweets he will eat. In his opinion, if its already plenty sweet, hed like to balance it out with some black coffee, and if the treats are mild, then hed like some sweetness.
And as he kept pondering, someone lightly tapped his shoulder. While turning around and being greeted by a gentle smile. He sees Miu, a girl of Japanese origin and his best friends childhood friend.
”You need something, Miu? ”
”Nothing special… but are you having a hard time deciding what to pick? ” she asks.
”Yes… quite a dilemma actually…. ” he replied.
”How about 2 then? I see you drink black coffee quite often, after all. ”
”You think so too? Then, lets go with that. ”
Miu giggles as she waits for him while he gets his drink. But before he picks option 2, he turns around and looks at her.
”Oh? Which one do you want? ”
e treating me? ”
”Well, I guess? ”
”Then… strawberry milk? ”
”Okay… gotcha. ”
”…You know, you don have to force yourself to sound more informal…. ”
He tilts his head, reflects on his actions, and glances at her.
”…Did it sound strange? ”
”A little… I just can picture you like that…. ”
And after a bit of waiting, they both receive their drinks.
”Oh, by the way, Noel said hed be doing some errands in the morning and will arrive later in the seminar this afternoon. ”
”Oh? Then… isn that why you
e here? ”
”Hehehe~ maybe? Also, how about I treat you to some snacks? ” Miu says playfully.
”Hmm, if you say so. ”
She puffs her cheeks as she pouts.
”…You were supposed to laugh…. ”
”Hm? Is that so? ”
And as he asks her that, she sips her drink and keeps sulking.
[…..How does Noel usually deal with her?]
— :::: —
Later, arriving at a cafe, they see a familiar face as they are in front of the cashier and ready to order.
”….This was your errand? ” Miu asks with a deadpan look.
”Don look at me like that! They were short on staff, and a friend I know asked me! ” Noel retorted.
He then lets out a sigh and looks at the person beside Miu.
”Cheesecake, please. Oh, and an Americano too. ”
And, of course, ignoring both of them was Alum. He is relatively carefree and does as he pleases.
”Al… I thought youd be a little surprised, at least. ”
”I am. ”
”…You don seem so…. ” Miu commented.
”Well… he does have a stoic look all the time…. ”
”….Is that a compliment, or are you two teas—roasting me? ”
”No… as I said, you don need to use slang…. ”
”Why are you even starting to use slang? ” Noel asks curiously.
”I read a book. ”
”Of course you did….. ” he lightheartedly comments.
”Anyways, it doesn suit me? ”
”Well… I wouldn say that… but you just need to properly use them naturally? ”
”…Noel, should you really be chitchatting right now? ” Miu asks.
”Huh? Crap, you
e right! So… what do you want to order? ”
”A Cappuccino and strawberry cake. ”
”Noted. Then you can take a seat over there. ”
Noel points at a seat close to the window at the back. Heading over to their seats, Alum and Miu suddenly realise something.
”Shouldn we be in class? ” Alum asks.
”….I completely forgot, ” Miu said with a defeated look.
And, making it worse, Noel comes with their servings and asks them the same question.
”Wait, aren you guys supposed to be in class? ”
e the one to talk! ” ”
— :::: —
In the afternoon, as class was over, Alum, Noel, and Miu sat around and chatted for a bit. Some other classmates come up to them, joining the conversation as well.
Although… Alum wasn going to chat with them. Since most of his interactions are with his cousin, Noel or Miu. And by no means is he awkward or shy. He just has little to no interest in others.
Professor Emely, who was packing her stuff after the seminar was over, heads towards them. And calls him out.
”Alum, do you want to eat out today? ” she asks.
e still on campus, ” he replies.
”Buut my work is donee~ ”
This young Professor right here… was Alums cousin and the one that took him in as a child. And isn afraid to publicly display her motherly love.
Some people have even misunderstood and reported this to the school. They understood the situation and cleared things up… and well. Told her to tone down.
”Hahaha, its always fun watching Al get shy, isn it, Miu? ” Noel asks.
”Sicko…. Well, considering he doesn make many expressions… I guess so? ”
e so harsh on me…. ” Noel commented.
At that moment, some people started to be loud, and from the looks of it, the door was stuck. Baning on the door and tried to forcefully open it, but it was to no avail, and it won budge.
”Seems like we will be stuck here for a little longer, ” Emely said.
But then, things quieted down. And as she glances over, the students have collapsed. Emely rushes to them but feels a rather unpleasant drowsiness and collapses too.
Miu starts to panic, and Alum gets up and runs to Emely. Checking her pulse and breathing, ensuring she didn get injured during her fall, he then sighed in relief.
And looking at the other students, he wasn sure what had occurred but held his breath since they could have become intoxicated. But that would make no sense either….
Noel had rushed over to see how the other students were doing, and they were fine. However…. Soon Miu collapsed as well, and Noel and Alum followed suit.
— :::: —
Walking up while being shaken by a friend wasn the most pleasant thing hed experienced. But it sure was better than the headache he received before collapsing.
Looking around and seeing a bright blue sky as he was lying on something soft and ticklish.
e finally awake, ” Noel said with a concerned look.
”Where are we? ” Alum asks as he gets up.
”I don know… however, I doubt this is our world. ”
[Not our world? Did he play a few too many games?] Alum thought.
”….Did we get kidnapped? ”
”No… I don think so… and also, as I said. I don think this is our world. ”
”I see. The drug they used on us was very hallucinogenic…. ”
”….Not that Ive experienced being drugged, I don think this is it…. ” Noel said while he was slightly disturbed by Alums words.
He then shows Alum something to prove that they are in another world: fire.
Creating a fire on his hand without getting burnt and freely controlling it, he tries to prove that they are in a magical world.
And of course….
”I see, its all in my head…. ”
Noel sighed as if giving up.
”Well… thats what Id like to believe. ”
Noel looks at him and wonders what has changed his mind.
”I mean, it makes no sense, but I have absolute confidence that this isn our world either. And as strange as it sounds, thats exactly what an influenced person would say. ”
”….I was about to comment on that. ”
Looking around a little more, Alum sees Emely and Miu cheering people up; some are in denial and curled up in a ball. While others excitingly test their powers and compare them.
”They seem awfully cheerful, ” Alum comments.
”…They were also the ones in deep despair when we first woke up…. ”
”…..And the ones who are curled up? ”
”In denial as reality struck. ”
”Oh? How about you? ”
”Lost, confused, in denial as well, and in lots of stress. ”
”I can see that… Although, you do a much better job than those excited dorks. ”
”…..You used one correctly for once. ”
”…Whatever. Since when did you wake up? ”
”Around 3 hours before you did. ”
[3 hours?] Alum thought as he raised his eyebrow.
”Why didn you wake me up earlier? ”
”You wouldn wake up no matter what, so I tried every 1 hour or so. ”
Looking around and scanning the environment more carefully, he saw a forest not too far away and a river too. And looking closer at the students, to be precise. They had no water or food.
e telling me, in these 3 hours, you guys haven gathered water nor tried finding food? ”
Noels eyes widened with surprise and regret.
”…Not everybody can think as clearly in harsh circumstances as you! ” he clenched his fist and looked frustrated.
And Although he tried to keep his voice down, he accidentally let out a more aggressive tone than he wanted to.
”…..My bad. ” Alum apologised.
Which made Noel feel guilty, since. Alum didn do anything wrong.
”No…. Im the one that needs to apologise… sorry. ” Noel said as he lowered his head in shame.
He was then lightly bumped on the chest as Alum softly smiled.
”No need to apologise. I was the one being insensitive. Hmm… but then again, how do we tell if something is consumable since this isn our world. ”
Miu, who was close by, chimed in as she heard what they were talking about.
”About that…. My ability is to analyse and see what it is. So… Ill probably be able to tell if its fine to eat…. ”
”Then, shall we go and look around? ” Alum suggests.
Miu then nodded with a smile.
”U-um… can we come too? ” a girl asks them.
It was a girl and her friend. Miu knew them, of course, and glanced at Alum to see what he thought.
”Why not? ” he said nonchalantly.
”Lets go then! ” Miu excitingly cheered.
And as they gathered every water bottle that was empty and large backpacks, they wandered off.
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