Rood just blinks at what he had heard too stunned for words.
"I appreciate your offer, but I think you're mistaken about something. I'm just a student."
Rood had to get out of this situation.
"It's alright. I already know you're a magician and quite a promising one too." Lidusis's older brother assured Rood.
Rood was shocked that Lidusis's older brother knew his identity. They barely knew each other. Heck, they just met. So how did he know?
Rood looks over to Lispen who turns his head away avoiding eye contact with Rood. Lidusis and Dio knew his identity, but they weren't particularly close to Lidusis's older brother. And Chevel wasn't one to tell secrets. Lispen did say that he wouldn't tell anyone, but if it was an order from Lidusis's older brother then that's a different story.
"I'm sorry...*cough* *cough*"
Rood starts (fake) coughing.
"But I honestly don't know what you're talking about."
Rood has on an innocent puppy dog look on his face like the one he used on Shicmuon when he tried to get rid of the man before he found out his identity.
Lispen sweats a bit. He understood Rood's intentions, but he still had mixed feelings seeing the blond Idun who was actually the great Black Magician in disguise pretending to be ill.
"I should be heading back to my class."
Luckily, only those who knew Rood's identity could see that he was faking.
"Then please do consider my offer." Lidusis's older brother says to Rood before the latter departs.
Finally able to get out of that room, Rood drops the sick child act.
What should I do? It wasn't the offer Lidusis's brother made to Rood that concerned him. He was more worried about Lidusis's brother knowing his identity as a magician. How did he find out? I don't think he knows that I'm the Black Magician. But how did he find out I was a magician?
Lispen told Rood that he wouldn't tell anyone that he was the Black Magician. And it's unlikely that Lidusis's older brother would think that he's the Black Magician. But the question lies where did he draw suspicion to himself. Did Lidusis's mother, Duchess Dayner, tell Lidusis's older brother? That would seem like the most probable choice.
Since he's Lidusis's brother, it doesn't matter if he knows or not. He's not going to be staying here long anyway. So it won't make much a difference. I'll just keep my distance from him until he leaves.
Back from his talk with Lidusis's older brother, Rood enters his classroom hoping for some peace and quiet. However, as fate would have it, that did not happen. The first sight that greeted him was not Lidusis quietly waiting for him or Dio's sleeping face, but rather a damaged desk more specifically his desk.
Rood did not understand that in the time he was gone his desk got some new cracks on it.
Right now, Lidusis's older brother's offer was looking pretty good. But of course, Rood still had no intention of accepting his offer.
Thankfully, Dio explained things to Rood telling him how Shicmuon say at his desk and started a fight with Professor Rowell while he was gone. Then Professor Kan showed up and escorted them out. Talk about a lucky break. Rood would have been mixed up some troublesome business if they were still there. Now he can have some peace and quiet.
For the remainder of class, things were very tranquil. No psychotic madman. And no weird eccentric swordswoman.
Things continued that way throughout the whole class time until lunch time came.
Rood proceeded to have lunch with Lidusis and Dio as usual. They make their way to the cafeteria chatting together as usual.
"Man, that was scary, Rood. You were lucky you weren't there. The bloodlust was so suffocating. I could hardly breathe." The memory of seeing Shicmuon and Professor Rowell at each other's neck was a frightening scene for the dark blue haired Idun. "So what happened with that Hereis?"
"Nothing much..." Rood told his friend slightly averting his gaze.
"Really? He wasn't scary like our new classmate, but he seemed really pushy."
"Yeah, he was hard to deal with."
"Chances are that he'll come back again. What are you going to do, Rood?"
"It's not like we'll be seeing each other anytime soon."
However he spoke too soon.
Rood instantly knew who that voice belonged to.
"Found you!" Linus appears in front of Rood. "I knew you'd be here. Let's have lunch together!"
Linus grabs Rood by his wrist and starts to drag the blond magician to a table. That is until Lidusis stopped him by grabbing Rood's other wrist.
"... Don't go..." Lidusis mutters under his breath.
Lidusis... Rood worries about Lidusis. This was the first time in days that Lidusis said anything to him. He was probably still thinking about what his master said when he asked Rood to go back to Opion.
"Then why don't you just join us?" Linus casually added completely oblivious to the atmosphere.
That was solved easily.
Lidusis and Dio follow Linus who was still holding onto Rood's wrist. Rood was reluctant to go since he didn't particularly wanted to eat lunch with someone who had Rood's fake personal files. But if Lidusis and Dio were tagging along, Rood couldn't refuse.
Linus takes them over to a table where Lapis was at.
"Hey, what took you so lo..." Lapis stops mid sentence when he saw Linus dragging Rood with him. "You kidnapped a child?!"
Lapis knew his friend needed his head checked a few times and did unusual things, but he didn't think he'd go and kidnap a child.
"I didn't kidnap him." Linus defended. "I just took him with me to have lunch."
"That's basically kidnapping!"
"What's wrong with wanting to have lunch with a new friend?"
"You two are friends?" Lapis didn't understand how those two became friends in such a short amount of tines.
Linus shows Lapis the file he found on Rood.
"Let's see..." Lapis starts skimming over the documents. Lapis's eyes begin to tear up until they fall down his cheek. The more he reads the more tears come out. This was just heart wrenching for Lapis.
"You poor child!" Lapis grabs Rood's shoulders. "If there's anything troubling you, don't hesitate to ask this Big Brother for help."
"I.. I'm just ordering lunch..." Rood wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.
"That's right a growing boy like you needs to eat more if you want be big and strong!"
Although meant no ill will, it still irked Rood. Dio tries to stifle his laughter, but it didn't do much since Rood could still hear him. This, of course, irritated him even more. Rood made a mental note to beat up Dio after this.
Not wanting to deal with this anymore, Rood heads over order his lunch with Lidusis and Dio. He is stopped when Lapis places his hands on Rood's shoulders and sets him on a chair.
"No, ill children should remain seated. Who knows what might happen to you? I'll go get your lunch for you. You just stay here."
Forget about treating him like a chronically ill child, now he's being treated like a five year old that can't do anything. No matter how good Lapis's intentions were, that didn't stop Rood from feeling annoyed by the whole thing.
"Then I'll have one order of spicy beef stew." Linus ordered having taken a seat next to Rood.
"Not you! And who said you can laze around! You're coming with us!" Lapis pulls on Linus's hair tail not tolerating Linus's selfishness.
"No way! I want to stay!"
Dio and Lidusis weren't sure what to do or say at the odd friendship between Lapis and Linus.
Shortly after, Lapis managed to successfully pry Linus off his seat dragging the lavender haired Hereis with him. Dio and Lidusis were taken along to see if they knew Rood had anything he particularly liked or disliked. Leaving Rood at the table to wait for them.
Rood should have just skipped lunch. It bothered him that he had to deal with Linus and Lapis now. Although they were harmless and didn't mean any ill intent, he didn't have time to deal with them since he still has yet to talk to Lispen and now has to avoid Lidusis's older brother. There's also the matter of Shicmuon and Professor Rowell as well. But most importantly, it annoyed the heck out of him to be treated like some helpless baby.
Well, that was Rood's cue to scram.
But Shicmuon was one step ahead of him when he grabbed him by the back of his collar again. Now Rood had no way to escape. Normally, he would have taken off his jacket and ran, but this time Shicmuon got him by his shirt too.
"You're coming with me."
He didn't think he'd see his brother again. He thought that he had left after their last meeting. However he was wrong. His brother was still here and right in front of him no less.
"Lis... I take that everything is going well for you." Lidusis's older brother says to Lidusis who was seated in front of him.
On the table between them was a teapot filled with earl grey, two teacups: one set in front of them, a small basket lined with triangular sandwiches, and a plate of assorted cookies.
Lidusis nods his head.
"Lispen told me about how you've been doing in school."
Lidusis was slightly surprised to hear that his brother asked Lispen to tell him about his school life.
"You're on friendly terms with your classmates now. It's a very big improvement from when you started especially considering how you are. There are two particular students whom you are close to. I believe their names are Dio Varus and..." Lidusis's older brother smiles at Lidusis. "Rood Chrishi."
At the mention of his blond friend, Lidusis glances down at the floor worried about the young magician.
Back in the cafeteria when he heading over to order his lunch with Dio, Lapis, and Linus, Lispen arrived informing him that his older brother would like to have conversation with him over lunch. Initially, Lidusis wasn't sure if he should go or not since he was worried about the thought of Rood disappearing one day. But Lispen quietly whispers into his ear that his brother wanted to speak with him in regards about Rood. That settled Lidusis's decision. He apologized to Dio as he excused himself following after Lispen.
"I've heard that mother was concerned about leaving you in Helios so she sent a magician from Opion to watch over you. He's done a good job of protecting you. And I thank him for that which is why I would like to ask you something as your older brother."
That's right. Lidusis remembered. Rood was a magician of Opion. He could protect Lidusis from any danger while all Lidusis could do was nothing as his friend risked his life to protect him. He didn't like it. He didn't want to be the same helpless child he was back then. He didn't want to do nothing while his friends are getting hurt. But he was weak. He was too weak to do anything. He couldn't protect his friends.
Lidusis's older brother's next words shock Lidusis when he hears them.
"Could you please give him to me?"
Walking around campus, the princess of the empire was in merry spirits as she held onto picnic basket in her hands. Along side her is her naggy but faithful bodyguard, Rom. Usually, the princess is also accompanied by her other bodyguard, Professor Rowell. However this time, she was unavailable, due to a small fight she had with a certain undercover magician. She is currently being restrained by Professor Kan at the moment.
"Princess, you seem to be in a good mood today." Rom pointed out. "Despite all that's happened lately. Are you having a picnic?"
"I'm sure Tessiana will be delighted to hear that. Oh, that spot is good. There's plenty of space and beautiful flowers." Rom sees a good area to have a picnic at. "How about there?"
Rom turns his head to Yuti.
Oddly enough, Rom didn't see Yuti next to him as she was before.
Instead, she was running ahead somewhere else.
"Where are you going?"
Rom chases after Yuti worried about her well being. Who knows what could happen to her if he leaves her alone!
"Cafeteria!" Yuti cheerfully answered not slowing her pace at all.
"But aren't you having a picnic? Why would you want to go there?" Rom didn't understand Yuti's thinking at all. Picnics are usually held outdoors rather than indoors unless it was raining.
"I'm going to invite Ming Ming to eat with us!"
Ming Ming? That sounded familiar to Rom. Who was that again?
"You don't mean..." Rom realizes out who 'Ming Ming' was. "No no no. I absolutely won't allow it! Think about your position! You're the empire's princess!"
"Stupid Rom!" Yuti sticks her tongue at Rom as she proceeds to run from her worrywart caretaker.
Coincidentally passing by, a student was roaming around looking for his missing friend.
"Rood! Where are you!"
Too late to notice the innocent bystander, the princess ended up colliding with the student. The princess braced herself for the hard ground, but felt nothing of the sort. She slowly opens her eyes to see that someone had caught her by her waist before she landed on the ground. That someone was the very person she was looking for. Not only that he also saved her picnic basket as he held it in his other hand.
Yuti was ecstatic to see Dio who did not look so happy to see the princess as his face slowly paled.
Dio just wanted to find his missing friend when he saw that Rood wasn't at the table where they left him at. He heard from some of his classmates nearby say that Rood got dragged away by their Hereis classmate. Like Lapis and Linus, Dio went to search for Rood concerned about him. And somehow, he ended up meeting the princess of the empire once again. There was only one thing to do.
Dio helps Yuti regain her balance. Once she's able to stand on her own without Dio's assistance, Dio hands back Yuti's picnic basket to her. And then...
He makes a break for it running like his life depended on it.
Yuti was saddened when Dio ran from her.
A moment later, Rom rushes to her side.
"Princess! Are you alright? You aren't hurt, are you?"
"Ah~ Ming Ming, come back!" Yuti chases after Dio. Naturally, Rom follows suit. He had a duty of being by her side and protecting her from any dangers.
"Can you please give him to me?"
Those were the words his older brother said to him. Lidusis stares at his older brother shocked by his words. He wanted Rood? What did he mean by that?
"To be more accurate, I would like to employ him as a magician of our family." Lidusis's older brother clarified. "He's quite promising. For someone so young to be a full fledged magician already and not to mention he's done a marvelous job of protecting you despite all that's happened lately, that should be more than enough to qualify him as one of our family's magician."
Just what was he thinking. Lidusis knew that Rood was a very powerful and strong magician, but why would his brother be interested in Rood. As always, Lidusis hardly knew what his older brother was thinking.
"He has my utmost gratitude in ensuring your safety which is why I would like him to be my personal magician. Wouldn't you agree, Lis?"
"Th... That's Rood's decision to make."
"That is true, but he is still very young. He has yet to acquire the insight in making proper decisions. He is too naive to see the how beneficial this would be to his future. And beneficial to you too Lis..." Lidusis's older brother raises his gaze from the table to Lidusis who didn't know what to say. "I'm sure you're aware of the fact that he is only here because of his mission. And one day, he'll have to leave eventually. Be it some time in the future or when you finish school. His mission to protect you will come to an end."
Lidusis lowers his head. He knew that. He knew one day Rood will have to leave. That's why he's scared. He's scared that one day Rood will disappear. If Rood disappeared, he didn't know what he'd do.
"That's why if he became one of our magicians, you wouldn't have to worry about not being able to see him. Naturally, you'll get to him , should he accept my offer. And if you'd like I'll even have him protect you. It'll be just the same as here in Helios, but I will have to bring him with me when I leave."
He was going to take Rood? An unsettling feeling swells up in Lidusis's chest.
"After all, if I'm going to have him become a magician of our family, I'll need to show him to father and have him trained. Although it will be a while, isn't better to wait to meet him than to never see him again..." Lidusis's older brother said to Lidusis. "Lis."
"I don't want to lose Rood..."
"I'm glad you see things my way, Lis." Lidusis's older brother smiles triumphantly.
"I'm sorry..." Lidusis raises up his head meeting his brother's eyes with a resolved look. He made up his mind. "But I can't let you have Rood."
Underneath his unmoved expression, this surprised Lidusis's older brother.
"Rood's very important to me. I'm scared that one day will Rood will disappear, but I don't want to burden him with protecting me. I can't do that. I can't do nothing while my friends are in danger." Lidusis lowers his gaze.
Lidusis knew what to. He wasn't going to sit back anymore.
"I have to go. My friends are waiting. And thank you for your concern." Lidusis bids farewell to his brother before leaving to meet up with his friends as he closes the door behind him.
Lidusis's older brother still kept on the same expression before. Through his eyes, he did not look amused. Not amused at all.