Two former childhood friends.
Once, bully and victim.
Are now left alone in a room by themselves.
For them to left alone, it had been some time since they've had a decent talk. This was a chance. A chance to reconnect the lost bond between two friends.
Or so one would think.
Unfortunately, the two had remained silent ever since Rood and the others left. Lidusis, being his usual meek self, would never initiate a conversation. And as for Chevel... Let's just say that things weren't any better for him either.
What should I do?!
Chevel really did have no clue what to do. He couldn't begin to wrap his mind around the concept as to why Rood Chrishi of all people had him stay behind and keep Lidusis company, but he could understand one thing if he screws up and does something to hurt Lidusis he'll be in for hell. No matter what he must absolutely not do anything to make Lidusis sad.
If I make one mistake, I'm dead! But if I don't say something, that'll just make things even more awkward! Need to think of something to say! What's a good conversation starter! Being put on the spotlight, Chevel racks through his brain for good conversation material. Ah! That's it!
"Nice weather today were having today, isn't it?"
Sadly, the only thing Chevel received was dead silence making the atmosphere even more awkward than before.
It didn't work?! Chevel wanted to kick himself.
Chevel had thought for sure talking about the weather would have been a good idea since it was a usual topic when starting a conversation.
Now he was completely embarrassed since it didn't work. Made him feel like an idiot.
"You know those cookies you gave me before weren't half bad..." Chevel tried once more to hold a proper conversation with Lidusis considering his life was at stake depending on Lidusis's mood.
He didn't know why, but for some reason, Lidusis got all depressed. He thought that would get a decent conversation going yet he somehow made things worse.
Things were not looking good for Chevel at the moment.
"Rood..." Lidusis softly spoke to himself.
Although it wasn't said that loudly, Chevel could still hear the name coming out of Lidusis's mouth.
The question was why did he say the blond magician's name?
Thinking about, Lidusis has been acting quite strange around Rood for some time. He knew Lidusis was the quiet type and usually keeps his mouth shut, but there was some peculiar about him. It was almost like he was acting a bit distant.
Chevel doubts Rood would do anything to hurt Lidusis considering how much he cares about the latter. And Rood wasn't acting any different than usual seeing how he threatened him on several occasions. The only things Chevel found odd about him were that Rood would leave him alone with Lidusis for some unknown reason and that he was wearing a dress plus a wig too.
It did surprise him how much he resembled Ibriel though. His father too.
It couldn't be...
Chevel has small grasp of what Lidusis was thinking.
Chevel starts abruptly marching towards Lidusis who remained seated on the edge of his bed and then firmly grabs Lidusis's arms keeping a tight rein on Lidusis.
"You idiot!" Chevel shouted out at Lidusis.
Really, this idiot sure knew how to worry a guy.
"Let me make this clear to you! It wasn't your fault and was never in the first place!"
"..." Slightly surprised by Chevel's outburst, Lidusis stares dazedly at the blond.
As for our hero, he was currently in the middle of an internal conflict within himself.
What should I do? I yelled at him like that, because I felt annoyed. He was already depressed, and I just said all that without thinking. If he starts crying, I won't know what to do. Or worse if he tells Rood Chrishi, I'm dead. Please don't cry. Please don't cry.
It seems that God really did exist when Lidusis cracked a light smile on his face.
Chevel was relieved to see that. It looks like he'll get to live a bit longer.
"Sheesh. Making people worry like that." Chevel brushed off hiding his concern underneath his tough exterior.
Hearing Chevel's kind words made Lidusis feel better. He knew Rood didn't do anything wrong, but it was just looking him reminded him of Ibriel especially that time when he came back with Chevel. It was almost like he had seen Ibriel again... Almost like he had gone back to those days.
It was so hard to look at Rood without being reminded of Ibriel. He probably caused Rood trouble again because of it. Knowing that, Lidusis resolves himself to remind himself that it wasn't Ibriel that he was looking but Rood.
"If..." Chevel started. "... If you trying making cookies or something again, I don't mind eating them."
Chevel turned his head away in embarrassment as he finished.
It's been so long since Lidusis could talk to Chevel like this. And all thanks to Rood.
Again? For him to sneeze not just once but twice in one day, was he catching a cold or was someone talking about him behind his back?
"Are you alright?" Lapis frantically asked Rood worried that the latter might have gotten sick. "You didn't happen to catch a cold, did you? Is your throat itchy? Do you have a fever? Is your stomach fine?"
Ignoring Lapis's over-dramatic worries, Rood didn't really care why he sneezed.
What mattered was the development between Lidusis and Chevel's relationship. He knew that Lidusis still cared about Chevel despite all that's he done to him. He doesn't know what kind of relationship they had in the past or what happened back then, but it was his job as Lidusis's friend to help him. He knew Lidusis wanted to fix his rocky relationship with Chevel whether his gray haired friend was aware of it or not. All he needed to do was give Lidusis a little push.
To help them get along better, it was his primary goal at the moment. That and Lidusis's safety.
Although he succeeded in leaving Lidusis and Chevel alone in the room, Rood was starting to have second thoughts.
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to bring Linus along with him.
"This Rood-nim is the best." Linus cheerfully noted.
For one thing, he wouldn't stop clinging onto Rood. It was hard enough to walk as it is with Linus hugging him from behind.
"But a crossdressing Rood-nim is so cute~"
But he'd wish the lavender haired Hereis would erase that memory from his mind. At the very least, Rood wants to erase it from his own memory.
"Still, Rood-nim is better the way he is. So dignified, majestic, and spectacular..."
Someone just kill him already. Rood wasn't sure if he could handle anymore of this. How could Linus say such things out loud without feeling the slightest bit embarrassed.
"YOU ****! JUST HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO HAUL YOUR LAZY ASS OVER HERE!"
Then all of a sudden, a deafening voice booms through the hallways. So loud, it was loud enough to wake up the dead. It was almost like an earthquake struck them. The thundering volume produced from its owner's vocal cords startled them.
That voice. They recognized whose voice that was. It belonged to that helpful but rude person, Axel. It was strange for him to be yelling like that.
Based on his tone, it sounded like he was really mad.
On impulse, Rood and the others rushes over to the source of the noise although in Linus's case it was more like he was just following Rood.
Running through the hallway and passing a few turns at the corner, the four students reach to the room containing the source of the noise.
"You got some nerve showing up at this hour. You're way beyond late!"
It seems that Axel was still yelling out whoever he was talking to.
Curiosity getting the better of them, they start to eavesdrop on the conversation. Dio closely presses his ear against the door to hear better which was a usual method when it came to eavesdropping. However instead of listening in on the conversation, he got a door in his face when a table was at the door from the other side sending not just the table but also the door at Dio. The force used in the table was enough to break off the hinges off the door when it sent Dio who was now caught under the door and table flying.
Rood was left completely dumbfounded by what had just happened. He wasn't the only one as Lapis too was in shock even Linus was surprised when a table came bursting through the door.
Hearing a bark, Rood looks down to see a familiar looking baby wolf pawing Rood's leg in an attempt to get him to play with it.
"Fenrir! Don't go!" Another familiar face appears from the door-less entrance.
What an odd stroke of luck to find Lalita already so soon.
"Who are you?"
Rood would have face faulted if he hadn't already heard that same question from the pale blue haired boy when they first met. And who forgets the face of someone they met not too long ago?
"Ah!" Lalita lightly taps his fist on his palm in realization. "I remember!"
Good, he remembered.
"You're that flying human from before!"
Although he's still as idiotic as usual. Rood sweat drops at Lalita's characterization of him. Just how long will he continue to think that.
"Lalita, did you get that douche's pet?" The main root of their curiosity showed up after Lalita.
Seeing the extra onlookers, Axel recognized Rood, Lapis, and Linus although failed to notice Dio who was still buried under the door and table.
Not long after, Axel invited them in allowing them to sit on the other sofa in the room while the first one was occupied by Lalita who held onto Fenrir in his arms and Lalita's companion, Arête. Axel sat on a chair by himself.
"Ah, my bad. I didn't think anyone would have overheard our conversation." Axel lightheartedly said not really caring if he bothered anyone.
Now that was an understatement. It was so loud that it was as if a thunderstorm struck.
"Uhm..." Rood wasn't sure where to begin with.
"Oh that's right. Since you already know them, I don't really have to introduce them to you."
Axel didn't need to hear anymore since he already understood what Rood wanted to ask.
"In case, you don't know. These two are my teammates like Lunette. They're also our highly well respected boss and his always a pain in the butt sidekick." Axel reintroduces Lalita and Arete.
What a weird way to introduce someone, but they decided to keep their mouths shut until the end. While it is true that Arete does look like he possess some leadership skills in him and some charisma in him, it was kind of rude to call Lalita a pain in the butt like that. And in front of him no less either.
"We kind of took our current job while they were away so they didn't know about it until just recently. Our group usually takes on jobs as a team but occasionally send out two members on solo jobs. And while they were gone, we got a job offer here."
That made sense. It would explain Lalita's prior ignorance. When he said that he was meeting up with some friends, he meant Axel and the rest of his teammates.
"Incidentally, prior to the time we went our separate ways, we ended up getting a nasty fight."
For people who had just reunited after a fight, they seemed to be on pretty friendly terms despite the fact that they just fought not too long ago.
"Nothing too big. Just a bit of name calling and a few punches here and there. Nothing out of the ordinary." Axel continued.
"Eh? You call that nothing too big?!"
"Nothing out of the ordinary?! Are you saying that that's normal?!"
Dio and Lapis loudly retorted from their seats dumbfounded by how casual Axel pushed it off to the side. Fights between friends weren't exactly a good thing. What's more is that it was a normal fad to them. Hard to tell if they're on good relations or not.
Rood simply sweat drops at Axel's nonchalant attitude. Their group was certainly weird for sure. Rood just wonders how many members are left.
"We haven't seen each other in some time, and I can see you're still the same." Axel redirects his attention to Arête. "The same worthless, lazy ass stooge."
"What are you talking about? I've moved up and made a few more stuff than before." Arête monotonously responded. "If anyone hasn't changed, it'd be you. Just as naggy and stingy as before. Still the same old priss."
"And exactly whose fault do you think it is that I'm like that..."
"I wonder who..." Arête feigns innocence.
A large vein pops on Axel's head.
"Are they always like this?" Rood wonders just how does this group function with teammates like that for them to be insulting each other so casually like it was normal in a conversation. What an odd relationship.
"Yeah." Lalita answered Rood's question for him. "They're both really good friends."
Somehow, Lalita's definition of friends differed from Rood's.
"Must be tough dealing with those two."
"Really?" Lalita tilts his head to the side in innocence. "Rood looks more like one having a tough time...?"
"?" Rood had no idea what Lalita was referring to.
"Isn't it hard to sit like that?" Lalita points to Rood more specifically at what he was sitting on.
Rood didn't get what Lalita meant. He was sitting on the sofa just like Lapis and Linus. Wondering what Lalita was referring to Rood turns his head around to if Lalita was pointing at something else behind him.
Contrary to what he thought would have been just air that Lalita was pointing at, Rood came face to face with Linus.
He soon realized what Lalita was referring to as soon as he saw the lavender haired Hereis's face close up to his face. And too close for his comfort at that.
How on earth did he end up sitting on Linus's lap?!
He didn't know how he did it, but Rood wasn't going to stay on Linus's lap any longer than necessary.
However escape was impossible with Linus tightly hugging him by his waist. The more he struggled to get out the tighter Linus's lock on him got.
From a third person's view, it looked like a little kid trying to break free from their visiting aunt's hug.
"How much longer will you be holding him like that?" Lapis wanted to ask for some time.
"Never~" was all that Lapis received.
Linus's infatuation with Rood went beyond what Lapis had imagined. It practically reached levels very few people could reach.
After struggling for a while, Rood could see that he was getting nowhere so he decided to let it go for now. Since it wasn't much different from how Linus interacts with him especially after he learned his identity as the Black Magician.
The moment Linus's hold on him lightens, he'll take that chance and run.
"With your boss and teammate like that, it must be quite difficult for you." Lapis commends Lalita for putting up with such teammates.
Not understanding Lapis's words, Lalita simply stares back at him stumped by Lapis's words.
Arête and Axel even put a hold on their usual (for them) conversation.
"Boss?" Arête repeated.
"I think you're mistaken." Axel clarified.
Mistaken? Just was it that they were mistaken about. Like Lapis, Rood and Linus didn't see what it was that Lapis was mistaken about.
Before Axel had a chance to finish explaining, the previous broken door and table that Axel threw out during his fit of rage along with a forgotten Dio were hurled into the room. Being the first one to hit the floor, Dio made a rough landing on the floor. His head was still spinning from all that's happened to him. Sadly, due to the order in which they were thrown, the table that was flung out the door by Axel previously fell on Dio followed by the door.
Dio?! Rood internally screamed perplexed by what had just happened.
He wasn't the only dumbfounded by Dio's entrance as Lapis too was shocked. Even Linus was surprised.
The only ones who didn't seem fazed by it were Arête, Axel, and Lalita.
Axel sighs, "Ah. She showed up sooner than I thought."
"You sly fox, don't think about weaseling your way out of it this time?!" Lunette barges in the room unannounced. "I was in the middle of my preparations for the Boss's arrival until your freakin' voice reached my room! What am I supposed to do now—"
Lunette pauses momentarily when she sees Arete.
"You ass, why are you here..." Lunette looks down at Arête like he was a bug. "I was hoping you would have died in some ditch. Tch."
Lunette clicked her tongue in disgust.
"And here you are, all fine and alive."
Forget boss and subordinate. Is that really the first thing she says to her teammate that she hasn't seen in a while? What happened to that 'highly respected' part Axel mentioned?!
Lunette curtly swings her head to the side like a tsundere denying to show any kind of compassion. Except in this case, her acting didn't have any 'dere' in it as those were her honest feelings.
Her expressions slightly change a little after seeing Lalita showing her surprise.
"Look, look, Lunette! I found this!" Lalita takes out the mana crystal he found in Grotta di Cristallo. "It's the same color as your hair!"
Lapis and even Dio who managed to get out of his previous situation couldn't believe what Lalita was doing. And Lunette's current mood wasn't the best either. What the hell is he saying at a time like this? Doesn't he realize that he'll get killed. Dio almost did. The girl even wished for her own teammate to die.
However contrary to their thoughts, Lunette didn't do such. Lunette just stares at Lalita. Then rushes out of the room like she had seen a fire. Much to their surprise, she came back in an instant, but this time in a completely attire. She had her hair neatly done wearing a headband with ribbons on the side. Unlike before, she was currently wearing a white dress with light pink frills and a shawl with the same color as her frills draped over her arms and behind her back. And for some reason, she was carrying a tray with tea and snacks.
"L-L-Lalita-gun, i-it's a pleasure to see again." Lunette stuttered while fidgeting around. "I-It's not much, but please do partake in this lowly prepared snack if you'd wish."
Who?! Dio and Lapis could not fathom the sudden change in Lunette. It was almost like she was another person. Even Rood could only stare stupefied.
"You're the same as usual too." Arete said munching one of the cookies Lunette set down for Lalita who was already eating a slice of cake. "You're right about the food. Talk about low quality."
Arete found Lunette's cookies to be rather bland in taste.
"You insolent cur, who gave you permission to eat those?" Lunette maliciously spats out returning back to her usual self. "Those are restrictively reserved for a character of great importance and high magnitude not side garbage like you."
"Thanks, Lunette!" Oblivious to Lunette's malicious feelings towards Arête, Lalita thanks Lunette for the snacks.
He thanked me?! Lunette internally squealed in joy as her cheeks blush.
"I-It's nothing really... I'm more than delighted to be of use to L-Lalita-gun..." Lunette said trying to act normal.
What was this? This meek, submissive girl... Was this really the same person they saw earlier this day? Lunette's change in character stunned Dio to the degree where he was practically speechless.
"You know it'd help if you'd try saying that to his face." Arete pointed out to Lunette who had her back faced to them.
Apparently, Lunette was too shy to look Lalita in the eyes without her face turning red.
"You've got some nerve interrupting our precious conversation for a no name side character. Looks like junior finally grew some balls."
Now this was getting more confusing for the peanut gallery. Just what was going on?
"Like I said before, Lunette pretty much treats all men like that." Axel cleared out. "However the only exception to that rule would be our boss."
Their boss? Wouldn't that be Arête? But Lunette was treating him way worse than that time she was with Axel and Dio when she nearly killed the blue haired Idun. Unless, Arête wasn't the boss. Then that would mean that...
Rood, Dio, and Lapis turn their attention to Lalita who leisurely eating a cookie as if nothing was going.
"I don't know how or why, but apparently, Lunette developed feelings for Lalita. He's the only one she actually treats nicely. Everyone else man or woman she'll hate."
"Women?" From what Rood heard beforehand, didn't Axel say that Lunette hated men. Why women too?
"Men, she'll scorn since she thinks they're all nothing but trash. Women, she'll hate thinking they're all love rivals for our boss. Not that it'll make a difference, she's pretty much like that to everyone in general."
"Sounds tough." Rood couldn't begin to imagine the trouble Axel goes through everyday because of his teammates.
"You don't know the half of it." Axel sighed in exasperation. "Never mind that, it's almost time for supper. Little kids like you need to eat more if you want to grow some more, if that's possible..." Axel pats Rood on the head.
A large vein pops on Rood's head.