Matthew watched from his place at the dining table as his uncle burst through the doors. Felix seemed to be staring right at the human form of the Goddess of Chaos. In fact he was heading right to her it seemed. Matthew had to stifle a laugh as his uncle was pulled down into the open seat next to Mia. It was funny as the older Adepts was caught off guard and practically fell into the chair.
Yune seemed to be holding back her laughter at Felix's predicament also. Matthew had a feeling that the young girl had done something to his uncle to make so angry. He'd half to ask her about it later.
After he finished his meal Matthew headed outside into the inner gardens. He was greeted by the sight of many colored flowers. Many shapes and hues were spread out across the small area. Even with his vast knowledge of flora Matthew could only identify the rose. It seems that even on another continent the standard flower of love could be found.
Matthew looked over the unfamiliar fauna. Taking out his journal he wrote down the descriptions of each flower he didn't know. He didn't even bother with attempting to sketch them. With his lack of skills they'd all end up looking the same. Whether it was Matthew's own interest in the flowers or an interest stemming from his powers as a Venus Adept was up for debate.
While he was writing down the description for a purple flower he felt a presence approach him. He turned to face the presence and found Sveta walking towards him. Matthew stuck his journal back into his side pouch and stood up to greet her.
"Hey Sveta" Matthew said with a smile
"Hello Matthew" she replied. "What were you doing?"
"Writing down the descriptions for these flowers. I've never seen any like them on Weyard. Dad always said it's best to learn about the plant life of where you're at. Really I think he just meant the things that we could potentially eat or use but I kinda went all out with it. As a Venus Adept we can affect plants so it's best to learn about them."
"Would it not be easier to simply draw them?" Sveta asked innocently not knowing about Matthew's lack of drawing skills.
"I can't draw very well." Matthew said sheepishly. "If I tried you wouldn't be able to tell what the flower was. You might not even be able to tell it was a flower."
"I can draw them for you if you wish." Sveta offered holding her hand out for the journal. "Volechek made sure I took painting lessons like a proper lady."
"Thanks for the offer but it's my journal you know." Matthew replied.
"It's just a record of our journey is it not? Much like the Sun Saga books detail your parents adventure."
"There's a bit more to it than that." He told her. Like my thoughts about you. Really don't need you accidentally reading that.
"Alright I can respect your privacy." Sveta said with a smile. Her eyes though screamed that she wanted to find out the secrets hidden within the book.
"Thank you Sveta." Matthew said. He started to look around the garden. "Now if only I could find someone to give me the names of these flowers. You know a gardener or some equivalent."
Sveta giggled. "What else would they be called?"
"Who knows? We're in a foreign country and in a palace. If any place was to have it be called something different it'd be here." Matthew defended.
"True. I think it is still called a gardener though. We seem to share a language." Sveta pointed out. "And before you say anything back home the position was called a gardener."
Once again the fact Sveta had at least been a princess won her an argument. Matthew stood stumped on how to defend his thoughts. She had him with the whole princess deal and the fact they spoke the same language as those on Tellius. Then it clicked in his head. The potential for a win.
"Didn't even Soren complain about how over complicated Begnion made things? Who's to say that they didn't over complicate simple job titles?" Matthew rebutted.
"Who is to say that they did not leave the titles alone? Soren could have been exaggerating with his description of Begnion." Sveta countered.
"How about you both stop arguing about the name for a stupid job?" Tyrell's voice echoed through the garden. The Mars Adept walked into view looking bored as can be. "You two were getting as bad as me and Karis."
"Impossible." Sveta a hint of anger in her voice.
"You're crazy if you think that." Matthew said with equal anger.
"Testy aren't you two?" Tyrell said in mock hurt. "Oh wait a second." The red head's face light up like a Christmas tree. He pointed a finger at both Sveta and Matthew. "You two wanted some alone time didn't you? Did Sveta ask you to take her to see the pretty flowers?" Tyrell teased his best friend.
Both Matthew and Sveta turned red. The Venus Adept being the first to recover spoke up. "It's not like that Tyrell. I was already here when Sveta came walking through. It's not like I asked her to meet me here."
Actually now that I think about it this does make a great spot for a date. If only Sveta felt the same way about me as I do for her.
I was set to Sveta for a while during our journey. Matthew she feels the same way don't worry! Flint the ever talkative Djinn though did not voice his thoughts to his Adept. Oh Isaac is this a problem I should help him with or not?
"Do you really think Matthew and I would want time alone?" Sveta asked Tyrell
Ouch. Matthew felt like the Chaos Chimera had just hit him right in the heart.
Is that how it really is for her? Did she come here and talk with me only because we're on the same team?
"Well I'm going to go see if I can find a gardener or not. See you two later." Matthew said a hint of his thoughts seeped into his words.
Walking away Matthew stuck his hands in his pockets. He fingered his journal as he walked away from Sveta and Tyrell. His heart aching as his thoughts got away from him. Sveta's words echoed through his head. He passed a gardener on his way out of the inner garden but he was too lost in thought to notice the man.
"Why did he look so sad?" Sveta wondered aloud. "Maybe I should go check on him."
"What for he just said he was going to look for a gardener that's all" Tyrell said in his normal voice. He completely missed the sadness in his friend's voice.
Sveta glowed purple for a quick second as Breath came out. The Djinn floated in front of its Adept for a second before turning on Tyrell. Using the Psynergy all Jupiter Djinn possessed it sent a Ray at the Mars Adept. It kept sending electrical attacks at the boy until he started running away from the Wind Elemental.
"Sveta control your Djinn!" Tyrell shouted as he left the garden Breath not far behind him.
Another Djinn came out and floated in front of Sveta. Bolt grabbed her shirt in its mouth and pulled her along in the direction Matthew had left. Like Flint, Bolt had been set to Matthew before and knew the plight of the young Adepts. Unlike Flint however Bolt was determined to do something to help them.
Not knowing what Bolt wanted and not having much choice in the matter Sveta allowed the Djinn to lead her. Once it realized that Sveta was coming willing Bolt flew ahead over her waiting to she caught up before dashing forward again. It was almost like a game of cat and mouse as Bolt lead the girl through the complex layout of Begnion's palace.
Sveta found herself outside the palace still following her Djinn. Only now rather than going through corridors she was going through streets trying to avoid bumping into people and still be able to see the flying elemental. Bolt hovered high in the air far away from the reach of any person.
Soon Bolt flew up onto the roof of an inn. The little Djinn fluttered around the top as it waited for Sveta to reach it. She looked over the inn. It wasn't anything special look that was for sure. It was a normal stone structure with a sign that said The Swordsman's Bane hanging above the door. She walked through the door and entered into a loud room.
Bolt hovered next to a set of stairs sending sparks into the air to catch Sveta's attention. A few of the people looked at the Djinn in confusion. Others ignored the electrical creature while still others tried to capture it. Bolt simply gave them a warning shock until Sveta collected him.
"What has gotten into you Bolt?" Sveta asked her Djinn as it floated above her hand.
"Go onto the roof." Was all Bolt said before turning into a purple orb of energy and flying back into Sveta.
Her curiosity got ahold of her as she went up the stairs. She had to go up two floors before she found the ladder leading up to the roof. Climbing up the ladder Sveta wondered what she'd find up on the roof. She pushed open the hatch and hosted herself out. Laying on his back staring at the clear blue sky was Matthew.
Hmm why was Bolt so insistent on bringing me to Matthew? Sveta thought as she made her way over.
Matthew continued to lay down looking at the sky. Sveta leaned over him blocking his view. She turned her head slightly conveying she wondered what was going on. The blonde warrior blinked as the shadow Sveta created messed with his vision.
"Hey again Sveta. Take it that was your Djinn that flew by?" Matthew asked lazily.
"Yes it was Bolt. He really wanted me to come here for some reason. Both him and Breath seemed to work together to bring me here."
"Odd I went to leave but Chasm sat on the door leading down so I laid down to stare at the sky." Matthew gestured up towards the blueness that is the sky.
Are our Djinn trying to tell us something? Sveta pondered. If they are why did they not say something?
"Matthew do you think our Djinn are trying to tell us something?" she asked not being able to reason it out alone.
"If they are I don't know what." He told her. "They have been acting strange since the garden though."
Sveta saw an opening. Like the predator that she is she pounced on the opportunity. "How did they start acting funny?"
"Well I could swear I heard Flint talking to himself but he denies it. Some of the others, in fact the ones I've lent you, started to stir and seemed like they were annoyed with me."
"Hmm. You have had Breath and Bolt before have you not? Do they sense something that we need to resolve?"
Both Adepts were stumped as to what their Djinn had been hinting at. If the Djinn had hands they would have face palmed at the stupidity of the two. In fact the Venus Djinn used their tails to do so. It took a lot of willpower for the seventeen Djinn to not burst out and declare their Adept's love for the other. They were going to have to take a more direct approach with this. Subtly was getting them nowhere. Not that they had been real subtle.
A gold and purple light enveloped the two Adepts. The light from Matthew caused Sveta to fall back while Matthew turned his head away from the purple light. Eight Jupiter Djinn and nine Venus populated the top of the inn. Each Djinn paired up with one of the other element. Steel, Garland, and Lull didn't pare up with any of the others. With music provided by Lull the seven paired Djinn started to dance.
Steel and Garland went over to Matthew and started jumping up and down. Confused he sat up which granted the two Djinn the access they needed. They stacked up on each other and pushed Matthew up higher trying to get him to stand. Getting the idea he stood up. The two seemingly hyper-active Djinn bounced over to Sveta. Again they jumped up and down until Matthew came over to help her up.
Once both Sveta and Matthew were standing the two Djinn kept bouncing into their backs pushing them closer together. When Sveta was practically blushing due to how close she was to Matthew both Djinn pointed their tails towards the dancing Djinn their faces explaining what they expected Matthew and Sveta to do.
"Uh would you like to have this dance Sveta?" Matthew asked shyly.
"I would love to Matthew." Sveta said taking his hand up from his side. She pulled his other hand and put it on her waist. Both Adepts blushed slightly. With their intertwined hand she moved it outward. Once she felt that they were in the starting position for the dance she was taught Sveta started the steps of the dance.
Together with their Djinn they danced to the tune of Lull. Sveta noticed that Matthew had a few minor missteps or sometimes he would forget one. She could tell that he knew the dance but the knowledge was buried deep down.
Lull's music changed to a slower song. The Jupiter Djinn landed next to their Venus partners. The tails of the Venus wrapped awkwardly around the Jupiter as they slow danced. Again Garland and Steel look up at Sveta and Matthew. Their faces told them they better do the same or suffer the wrath of seventeen angry Djinn.
Sveta felt her blood rush to her cheeks as Matthew wrapped his arms around her waist. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned into him. Sveta while slightly embarrassed by the situation the Djinn had put her in but very thankful. She could hear Matthew's heart beating rapidly.
Is he enjoying the closeness the same as me? Is this what the Djinn were trying to tell us? Do I say something or just leave it like this. Do I sacrifice this comfort I have with him now for the potential for something more?
Sveta nuzzled up against Matthew her hair tickling his chin. The soft music of Lull kept the two from speaking. Neither wanted to disturb the sounds made by the Djinn. Soft as it was it was loud enough to drown out the sounds of the streets below leaving the two Adepts in their own little world.
Once Sveta felt that her face was no longer crimson she pulled away from Matthew enough to look up at him. Her eyes met the blue of Matthew's. It was one of those star crossed lovers looks. Both of them had a small understanding of what was going on between them. Sveta leaned into Matthew who rested his head atop hers as Lull continued to supply the area with music.
The musical Jupiter Djinn's tune slowed and faded leaving a silence begging to be filled. Sveta just stood there arms wrapped around Matthew's neck as she hummed the music Lull had played for them. Even without the assistance of the Djinn the two swayed back and forth to the sound of Sveta's humming.
With a smile on her face Sveta grabbed Matthew's hands and pulled them away from her. She gracefully spun around and leaned her back against the boy's chest. Pulling his arms over her shoulders she kept hold of his arms as they stood there looking over the city of Sienne. With the sun halfway to its zenith the two Adepts thought the town looked lovely. Their view may have been colored at the moment though.
As they stood there looking over the city the hatch to the roof burst open as Breath flew over to Sveta.
"HE'S CRAZY!" the elemental shouted turning back into energy and hiding itself in Sveta. Seeing Breath leap back into the beastwoman the other Djinn turned back into energy and flew into their Adepts. Again Matthew and Sveta were slightly taken aback by the bright light.
Tyrell pulled himself up onto the roof. Once his hand was free from helping himself up a fireball appeared. A dangerous look was in Tyrell's eye as he turned to find Breath.
"Where is it? Come out here Breath!" Tyrell shouted. "You shocked me one to many times. Now it's time to get even."
Sveta couldn't see Matthew's face but from the look on Tyrell's when he saw them it must have been an unpleasant one. Tyrell dismissed the fireball, as it wasn't fully cast he still had complete control over it.
"Uh right. I'll just be going now. Sveta if you could would you be so kind as to teach Breath not to shock people?" Tyrell backed up as he spoke. Obviously he was walking right back to the hole where the ladder led to the roof. Tyrell being Tyrell of course had to fall into it. He just wouldn't be himself if he missed the hole.
Sveta had to stifle a giggle as she heard him land. Matthew on the other hand let his laugher out. Sveta could feel him laugh against her. The rise and fall of his chest and the shaking that accompanied a good laugh.
"I suppose I should go see if he's okay." Matthew sighed. He went to move his arms from around Sveta but she held fast onto his wrists.
"Allow me." She told him. Sveta closed her eyes tapping into her Spirit Sense Psynergy she felt for Tyrell's mind. Skimming the top of it she learned that he was embarrassed that he walked into such a private moment and possibly ruined it and the thing that hurt most was his pride. Pride at being a great warrior only to be bested by a simple hole.
"He's fine. Just sad that he ruined our moment." She informed Matthew. Neither one noticed that Sveta used a contraction.
"So we did have a moment. Good." Matthew sighed. "Glad it wasn't just me that enjoyed it so."
Sveta let go of Matthew's arms and turned to face him. "I think our Djinn know more than we thought they do. It seems they were quite intent at bringing us together today."
"Remind me to thank them later. Right now I think I'd just like to spend more time with you. But can we be clear on what this is exactly?"
"Yes I think we can. We are two people who care deeply for each other. I think we can both agree it is at least the start of love."
"You're right. It's definitely the start. I can't wait to see where it goes." Matthew grinned and pulled Sveta into a hug.
Knowing that Matthew cared for her so Sveta could tell there was a simple difference in the hug he was giving her. It was certainly different from how he held her during their dance. Not because it was a dance and this a hug. It was because they both opened up and shared their feelings with each other.
"So I wonder how Uncle Felix is going to feel about his nephew having a girlfriend while he's almost fifty and single." Matthew joked.
"Girlfriend? Was I not a girl friend before?" Sveta questioned teasingly as she stepped out of the hug and crossed her arms.
"Ah sorry must be a beorc term. Dang that term grows on you fast. It's what we are now Sveta. Girlfriend boyfriend are what you call two people who have deep feelings for each other and they openly admit it. Before that you were a girl and a friend." Matthew explained.
"I get it Matthew. We Beastmen have the same term. I was just teasing you." Sveta smiled as Matthew turned red with embarrassment. Sveta's demeanor changed to a more relaxed one rather than angry as she continued her earlier statement. "But your uncle may not be single for long."
"Really why do you say that?" Matthew asked genuinely confused.
"That blue haired swordswoman Mia. I am quite certain she has a crush on your uncle and I told him so. I didn't want her to have to deal with an unobservant male like I did." Sveta informed her boyfriend.
"Hey I'm observant. Just not when it comes to seeing that you like me." Matthew attempted the pathetic defense. "And hey it's not like you have room to speak about being unobservant."
"Is it not the male's job to make the first move?" Sveta pointed out. "Maybe I was simply waiting for you."
"Well maybe I like aggressive women."
"If that was true why are you not doing this with Karis?"
"Besides I am quite aggressive. Have you not seen me on the battle field?"
"Yes I have and you look quite good out there." Matthew told her. "Now what do you say we go find our friends and let them know the good news?"
"That sounds good. I know Karis and Himi will be quite happy." Sveta said as she moved towards the ladder leading down into the inn.
"Why would they be happy to hear about this?"
"Do you know nothing of women Matthew? When we have troubles we seek the advice of others. Also Himi is quite the gossip and Karis is a romantic."
"Huh" was Matthew's thoughtful reply.
Together the new couple headed out the door of the inn and back towards the palace. Hand in hand they walked. At first Sveta noticed Matthew was entranced by the small circular pad on her hand. He kept moving his palm against as if surprised she kept it so smooth. Did he really think it'd be rough and scratchy like that of a dog's or cat's paw? If she didn't keep it soft and smooth it'd leave marks on glassware and make getting dressed a chore as it caught on the cloth. She knew about clothing catching as the pads on her feet always caught when she dressed.
Once Matthew had finished his "covert" feeling her paw over with Sveta moved herself closer to him. As they walked they're footsteps became synchronized. Both lifted and set down their right foot at the same time. It was something Sveta noticed and of course once you notice such a thing it messes up. She did feel a little giddy when she noticed though.
They ran into Karis and Himi on the streets of Sienne. They were with Rolf and Mist. You could only identify Rolf by the light green hair sticking up over boxes and bags. The ever observant Karis was the first to notice Sveta and Matthew's intertwined hands. Letting out a squeal she ran over and hugged the both of her friends. Sveta was crushed by the tight grip her fellow Jupiter Adept had on her. Despite her small figure Karis was strong.
Karis and Himi immediately started asking questions about how Sveta and Matthew officially became a couple. Matthew had no problems explaining that the Djinn had played matchmaker. He even told them about how Tyrell had actually caused them to speak their feelings aloud since Sveta read his mind to figure out if he was ok after his fall. They all had a laugh at Tyrell's expense. Mist pointed out that Boyd and Tyrell were actually a lot alike.
"Well you two should go out on an actual date sometime." Mist told the pair. "Just don't forget that the guy is the one that pays the bill."
"Wait is that why you're holding my wallet?" Rolf asked from behind the stack of boxes. "Mist I know how much was in there you better not have spent my money."
"Why else would she hold onto your wallet if she wasn't going to spend the gold?" Matthew questioned the older boy. "I mean come that's got to be the oldest trick in the book. In fact how'd you fall for it?"
"Since we got him to hold all the stuff he couldn't see his wallet hanging on his side so I offered to protect from thieves." Mist said. "Never said I would protect it from me."
"It's hard to feel sorry for you Rolf. You are the one who became a pack mule first off. Then you pass off your gold to women on a shopping spree." Matthew turned his attention to the girls. "By the way what are you three getting anyway?"
"Clothes first off. We Mercenaries go through them quickly. I don't know how many times these past few years I've had to sow patches onto something. A big chunk are vulneraries and other medicines that we need. Shinion is a great big baby when he gets a cold. I got two new Mend Staves and a Restore. And a surprise gift for Rolf." Mist listed.
"We got some new clothes to. Like Mist said we go through them quickly. I don't know how many of my clothes have rips from a sword, claw, teeth or what have you. That's not even counting the ones ruined the normal way through wear and tear. We did some girl shopping to though. Don't worry we didn't use any of the group money Matthew." Karis informed her leader.
"Even still how did you three get so much so fast?" Matthew wondered.
"Listen Matthew. It's the first time we've had a day to relax since we started our journey to get the Roc's Feather. I have a year's worth of shopping and relaxing to catch up on in about three days. In case you haven't noticed I'm not exactly the same size I was when we started. Even Himi has grown." Karis continued.
Sveta knew exactly what Karis was talking about. Matthew however didn't seem to understand what the girl was talking about. To his eyes Karis looked exactly the same she had when they set off for the stupid feather. The beastgirl sighed at her boyfriend's lack of observation skills with women. Though she did feel happy about being able to think of him as her boyfriend.
"Oh Sveta." Himi said reaching into one of the bags hanging off of Rolf's arms. "We found a cute dress that we thought you'd like."
"Really but why?" Sveta asked the young Radiant Miko girl.
"Because you don't seem the type to spend gold on clothes is why." Mist told the beastgirl. "Every girl needs to have at least one dress that makes them feel a little special."1
Himi finished searching through the bag for a small rectangular box. The female Venus Adept took the lid off revealing a deep purple dress. Light purple embroidery was done around the neckline in the shapes of flowers. Himi handed it over to Sveta for her to hold up. A person walking by the group bumped into Himi as she let go of the dress causing Sveta to grab air. The dress fell to the street between Himi and Sveta.
The beastgirl bent down and picked it up. Despite the dust on it she did think the dress was lovely and like Mist said she wouldn't have spent money on it. Currently she had no use for a dress. It would be something she wore back when she was the Queen of Morgal. As an adventure she wouldn't be going out to balls anytime soon. Sveta's only problem with the dress was the v-neckline. It plunged down farther than anything she had ever worn before.
"It is beautiful." Sveta told the three girls handing it back to Himi. "If you would hold onto for me that would be great."
"Alright. Well we'll let you and Matthew go now. We still have a few more things to get before we head back." Karis said pulling Mist and Himi along with her. Rolf was left to navigate the streets by sound.
Sveta and Matthew headed back towards the palace. Both of them happy to be with the other. They spent the next few days enjoying each other's company as they waited for the royal members of Tellius to come to Begnion. One night they headed out to stargaze. They were having fun pointing out different constellations until the guards spotted them and thought they were intruders.
Each day they spent together the happier they were that their Djinn had decided to help out. If it wasn't for nosy elementals the two lovers might still be unaware of the others feelings.