Royal Arcanum (The Royal Arcanum #1)

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Chapter 12. Some Legends Remained True

Cathy felt refreshed after she had finished with the shower at ten a.m., still in the same day. Afterward, she wanted to be alone for a moment as she went to the lounge room, sitting on the sofa by the fireplace.

Her dad just called her on the phone, and she spoke then, “Please ask the school’s permission for me, I’ll probably return on Tuesday.”

“Have you met him?” His voice was trembled. She noticed that he tried not to cry. “What are you all talking about?”

“Dad, don’t worry, he told me a lot,” she tried to comfort him. “I love you—and please tell mom that I miss her. Is she still in the hospital?”

“Yes, she is,” he sighed, sounded worried. “The doctor said that she needs a surgery, but it’s not necessary if in a couple of days there’s nothing happen, then she will be allowed to come home.”

“I feel uneasy about mom. I hope my hunch is wrong… just promise me, you’ll always be there for her.”

Her dad promised her so, and their conversation ended with worriment feeling. She couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her mom, it was a guilty feeling, but she didn’t want to drown in this dilemma for too long, and so, her eyes explored something else around the room.

There was a bookshelf next to the fireplace, where Carl Dalton treasured random ancient books. It was the spot to find his literature collection. Most books were about spiritual and poetry. Until one book got her attention. A leather-bounded brown book displayed at the corner of shelf. The front book covered with flower patterns.

She checked on the table of contents before scanning the whole pages. Seemingly, it was about the study of ancient symbols. Her fingers flipped the first chapter entitled Celtic Symbol. As she read further, most folks called one legend as Triple Spiral, or mostly known as Triskele or Triskelion.

She carried the book and sat on the sofa, before continued reading.

The symbol had a various forms, described as a motif consisting of three interlocked spirals, some showed up as three bent human legs. It derived from Celtic belief, mostly found around Megalithic and Neolithic age, and the interesting part was when the archeologists found it at the entrance stone inside Newgrange Passage Tomb, it was a Megalithic tomb in Ireland. The terms of a passage tomb referred to the graves from that generation. Unfortunately, the symbol meant unknown until now, and the archeologists couldn’t decode it yet from the pagans who built it. As the time passed by, the folks created a new meaning for that symbol as trinities: Land-Sea-Sky. Triskele was a prominent symbol in Celtic belief, and often known as three realms of triple goddesses.

Cathy had not able to process the knowledge at first, but something felt familiar. The part of three prominent figures reminded her of what Carl Dalton had said before. Something might be related between this symbol and the legend story that he wrote. It wasn’t easy for her to make a conclusion of how everything could connect. Besides, he said that some folks here still believed in the legend in his book.

She went downstairs to see Elle, who was reading a newspaper in the dining room. “I didn’t know that you understand German language.”

“Just checking,” Elle said, sounded friendly.

Then she saw Carl Dalton looked busied in the kitchen. His hands were trembling while cracking the egg into the frying pan.

“Is there anything I can help?” She asked.

Just in time when she mentioned it, the egg fell from his grip, stained the floor. She took a white napkin above the counter, moving adroitly.

“Forgive me, dear,” he sighed, pitying his weak body. “Honestly, I don’t want to burden you.”

She smiled. “It’s okay. I usually helped my mom in the kitchen too. There’s no word for burden.”

The kitchen looked odd at glance. She noticed the food supply was running out when he opened the refrigerator, there were only a few white milks. “Do you want me to go to the grocery store?”

“That’s very kind,” he sounded relieved. “My body isn’t strong enough to walk in town recently.”

“I can help. Just let me do the work,” and she noticed that was the last egg, so she had to look at Elle for permission. She could tell a disagreed look on her face. “Please, I want to see downtown in here too.”

Elle rose from the chair, while considering it. “Hmm, alright.”

He was very glad that they could help him, although he usually had a young postman who would deliver food supply every two weeks for him, besides a newspaper.

He gave her extra money for having fun, and he even told her which town to visit, since some stores were pretty expensive in Krem town, so he told her to visit Melk town instead. Her happiness couldn’t feel more enormous today.

The only vehicle that the landlord could offer, it was the bike that had a large wooden basket. Elle rode the bike throughout the valley, and Cathy sat behind her quietly, enjoying the invigorating view. The huge trees all grown along the pathway.

They got through Krem town, where the stunning view seemed so alive, mostly were old buildings in white and cream walls, there were many stores they could visit. People walked on the pavement. The town view looked clearly under the bright blue sky, and the place had reminded Cathy with Italy that she only saw on the internet.

Until then, they arrived to Melk town, where the view looked similar. They went on the road across the side of Danube River, where there was a view in the hills, of one gold building that looked like a luxurious castle. As Cathy was fond with it, Elle told her that the building was Melk Abbey, the most famous monastic among the world.

“We’re already in Melk, right?” Cathy asked for assurance.

“Yes,” Elle confirmed.

They stopped by at a district that had a bazar arena; there were random stalls on the alley. Seemingly, Elle always knew where to go without asking anyone for direction.

Before Cathy could be amazed with the atmosphere here, she noticed there was no padlock for the bike. She felt restless about the bike’s safety, since this place looked really crowded, although there were some bikes parked along on the road as well.

“We need to walk from here,” Elle suggested. “We can’t ride the bike here when there are so many people in the street.”

“Even better,” she felt restless though. “Where’s the grocery store, exactly?”

“It’s in the center of this area,” Elle said, and started to lead the way.

A few blocks away they walked through the pavement, Cathy felt a strange magnet toward a place that looked larger than the other buildings. “What’s that place?”

The black glass window of the building looked too dense that she couldn’t tell what was inside, but the adornment of green canopy was the sign that it was a foodie place. People came and gone every minute.

“This is a bar, actually,” Elle informed.

Cathy just understood what the place was, after she read the European menu on the blackboard that placed in front of the door.

“I want to see,” she said, and went ahead without listening to her comrade’s warning.

Surely, Elle annoyed with her stubborn behavior.

The foyer was pretty huge, and the very upbeat music was played so loudly on the background. As she walked across the room, the atmosphere changed, and there was a classical song. Random superficial people visited this side of place that had expensive design and furniture. She noticed the difference.

As she turned back, she panicked to realize that Elle wasn’t behind her. It was at the same time there was a small and thin old woman who accidentally bumped into her arm, followed by the two young boys that deliberately burst into them, passing at the arched door.

Cathy observed the sorrow expression that engraved on this Hispanic woman, but she sensed it wasn’t about those boys.

The old woman wore a black veil to cover her gray hair, and dressed in a dowdy floral dress, and she had that kind of psychic gray eyes.

There was an eerie feeling when that old woman stared friendly at her. “Are you alright, child?”

Cathy flinched. “Yes, aren’t you speaking German?”

“I’m from Brazil, my name’s Bubaa Margaretha—a nomad gypsy,” her eyes stared enthusiastically. “Where are you from?”

“Arizona, it’s in America,” she answered, and felt pretty horrified to see her creepy pale face from closer, since this was the first time she saw a gypsy, and the frightening one. However, she didn’t want to be conflicted with her own judgment. “Have you taste the cuisine in here?”

Bubaa smiled. “Indeed. The food taste of heaven, you should try it.”

She wanted to move away, but the ambience forced her to stay since there was something unspoken from this gypsy. However, this scene wouldn’t last forever once Elle came to drag Cathy harshly to stay behind her back.

Elle confronted, “Is there any problem?”

That woman was agape in astonishment, her yellow teeth showed. She stared up at this beautiful porcelain face, but somehow she couldn’t see through her so easily, only that she was aware of this kind of vibe, of what the girl supposed to be.

“Meet me in the alley,” Elle demanded her. And as if for million times, Cathy bulged out at her cynical manner. “Go, now.”

After she was gone, the atmosphere between them turned aggravated. The gypsy stared warily, and failed to read what this girl would do next. On the contrary, Elle understood precisely everything about gypsy.

“Your business is yours. We have something more valuable to do, rather than playing a mind trick with human like you,” Elle warned her. “So, don’t bother.”

“I want to help the girl,” the gypsy said tremblingly.

A long time ago, she received a precognition about the destiny of Cathy Charlotte. It was strange for her since she didn’t know the girl in person, but once they met, she remembered it, of the formidable precognition she got after she tried to put a curse on a witch that had exasperated her soul.

Before the gypsy could reach for her hand, Elle swayed her right away. “Don’t touch me with your hands, gypsy.”

At the same time, a creepy black gigantic figure with curly horns on his head, suddenly appeared next to that old woman. It was the creature that made Cathy frightened, she saw it slightly before Elle came.

“You collides with a demon, how could I trust you?” Elle didn’t hesitate to say it, since she could read everything that ever happened in this gypsy’s life with a blink of an eye. “I know you’ve been losing your ancestor’s necklace, but it’s none of my concern.”

Bubaa breathed deeply in sadness when this angel knew about her miserable life. She lost her ancestor’s necklace from a woman who possessed a great power, of the witch that Elle knew had something related with this journey.

However, the gypsy won’t bother with everything that had happened since she had been travelling around to make money, and this restaurant was the example, the owner of this place was her client, asking for her help to get rich instantly. Her arrival today was to demand him with a dark price for the born of this pathetically popular place.

On the other side, Cathy waited in the alley behind the restaurant. When she walked out from the exit door, there was a young woman of 168 cm tall, leaning on the brick wall while crossing her arms.

“Are you sure if she’s your guardian angel?” The young woman suddenly asked.

She turned back to see her, bewilderingly. “Pardon?”

“I mean, that white hair girl, is she your guardian angel?” As she kept talking, Cathy observe her from closer that the young woman had freckles on her tan cheeks, and had a curly black hair, red chili lips, and it seemed she was Hispanic descent, just like the old woman she came across before, and she looked a bit older than her. “I can see people if you know what I mean.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cathy said, defensively.

“I know you can see too,” she was persistent to have this conversation. “Is she your real guardian angel, or are you sure if she will stay by your side forever?”

Cathy walked backward subconsciously when she approached her a little closer.

“Anyway, I don’t know you.”

“I’m the daughter of the old woman you’ve met inside that place. My name’s Lionelle Margaretha. We’re gypsy, travel a lot,” after she introduced herself properly, Cathy just understood why she literally wore that kind of fashion style, of white dress with thin belts, and she also wore a lot of bangle bracelets on her wrists.

“So, how often you visit this bar, Lionelle?”

“Yeah, my mom has been helping the owner for running his dirty business,” she winked her eyes mischievously. Cathy understood what she meant; it was like working with demons.

The silent filled the air for a moment. They stared, observing each other’s presence, and Lionelle asked again, “Have you heard about Triskelion legend?”

Cathy raised her eyebrows widely, and surprised if this was a synchronicity or something, since she just found out a book that talked about it this morning. Now, she believed this wasn’t just some kind of coincidence.

“I suspect that she’s involved with it, which I say, she’s the forbidden legend—from one of the three prominent characters, she’s one of the leader’s minions,” Lionelle informed.

“What do you mean?” Cathy baffled. “Are you judging her, now?”

“There were three figures who became the real legend in this country—one leader and two minions. All demons knew better, their children are afraid to believe about Triskele.”

“Why they should feel afraid?”

“They have been giving a deadly curse for the demons here, to live miserably because of their ancestor’s karma,” she flickered while telling her. “They’re holding the deepest old secret that every entity always wonders about. Their existence frightened everyone in the past.”

Cathy listened well, but she still confused. “What do they look like?”

“They’re wearing navy blue robe that sometimes look black. There are golden rectangular adornments on their robe’s sleeves. They have porcelain skin as white as winter, and sharp eyes, but you couldn’t really see their true faces beneath their robe,” Lionelle paused for a second to breathe deeply before she continued describing them.

“The leader is known as Seraph, which is the tallest and quietest figure among them, and some says she has dark hair. The others are her minion, which known as the messenger and the destroyer. For the messenger, no one has really discussed about her existence, and the destroyer meant as the protector or some kind of warrior, like a special guardian to face any malevolent danger,” she explained ingeniously.

“All of them are archangels. Their story was just a legend for human, no one has really seen them, and no one can prove their existence either, except if anyone wants to relate the terrible incident from the past history that may reveal the truth about them, perhaps.”

“They’re all the archangels in woman figures?” Cathy wondered. “What was the incident?”

“Shouldn’t that white hair girl tell you anything?” She baffled against her innocent face. “I sense her as the destroyer, the mission accomplisher who had thrown the immortal curse at the demons who fought the Aloise empire, you know, that incident was like a general secret but forbidden to tell. Well, looking back what she looks like now, disguising herself as a human, huh?”

“How ridiculous!” Cathy annoyed why a stranger would explain so many things, while she had always expected it to be told by her mother.

“Come on, the royals have been rumoring that one—you’re that destined child,” she smirked, concurrently dumbfounded to meet her in person. “We’re gypsy can be omniscient.”

“How do you know about the Aloise? Have you met them?” Cathy was curious.

“Nope,” she shook her head assuredly. “My mom got a precognition about you when the witch came, for hunting you down, but eventually, our family became the victim of the devil’s anger, and she couldn’t even find the Sapphire stone—what a pathetic woman.”

“And what, do you want to mention Caecus too?” Cathy was precisely nauseated at herself that she knew nothing at all, and by now, this stranger was totally something else.

“You knew about that one, rather than about your family?” She chuckled in disbelief. “Oh, God’s sake, I’m sure that hidden world isn’t necessary noticeable for you now. Your destiny is so close, the time is almost come.”

“Should I pay you for the next information, which I won’t know how accurate all the things you would say?” Cathy protested. “And destiny, seriously?”

“Impeccable, I’ve said for no fun,” she stared at her with no interest now. “You think I’ve told you many things just to waste my saliva?”

Cathy sighed. “What do you want?”

“Nothing,” Lionelle shook her head firmly. “My mouth is talking instinctively, maybe because I’m impressed to meet the person from our precognition. It must have been true then.”

Cathy confused whether she could trust this gypsy who told her a lot of information so freely. It was a huge relieve when Elle finally came to the alley.

“Have we met before?” Elle asked the gypsy.

Lionelle gazed frozenly at her real presence, and to see that Elle stood way taller even she wore heel boots, but surely it wasn’t about physical appearance that got her astonishment.

It took her a second to respond, in a rudely way, “I don’t think so.”

Elle approached her more closely until they stood only five inches away. “If you touch this girl, you will face me later.”

Her sarcastic warning made Lionelle agitated. Behind them, Cathy watched bafflingly with this strange encounter. They stood for a pretty long time, eventually it was because Elle stared at the necklace with Triskele pendant on that gypsy’s neck.

Quickly, Lionelle grasped her necklace, hiding it from their sight before she left without manner. As they saw her leaving this small alley, the atmosphere was free from tension.

The pendant reminded Cathy of the story that Scott once told her, about his mother who stole a gemstone necklace from a poor gypsy. Although she couldn’t assume of any idea, even to relate his story with the reality she just encountered. She wouldn’t want to be too judgmental since there was no evidence.

“Just my advice; never trust any gypsies, even they sound convincing,” Elle said, making Cathy surprised “—most of them collide with demons. If they want to help you suddenly, there must be a hidden reason behind their motive.”

She stayed bewildered for a few seconds before they walked out from the alley, and Elle hugged her shoulders, full of affection.

At eleven a.m., the street still crowded by the walkers. Soon, they entered the nearest grocery store that was a couple block away from the restaurant bar.

Ever since she was accustomed to go shopping, she could do the chore quickly. It had been her usual life in Bisbee, as she often went grocery shopping whenever her mom couldn’t go. As for today, Cathy bought the items according to Carl Dalton’s grocery list. But she left in a hurry that she forgot to take her money change, and gladly, Elle came to take it on her behalf.

After spending half an hour inside the grocery store, she finally wanted to go for sightseeing around the town. Random merchandise stalls along the street caught her attention, food stalls were mostly junk foods, and some stalls sold women accessories and clothes. This was a huge bazar arena.

She took a few paces to check on them before she encountered a familiar face that got her surprised.

The woman’s appearance was noticeable and looked wise, wearing a white blouse, gold trouser, black stiletto, and gold necklace of Cleopatra alike. She accompanied by two corpulent men in black suits, sunglasses, and they brought black briefcase, so businesslike.

As their eyes met each other, the woman recognized her at first glance. She seemed to ask the two corpulent men to wait for her before she approached Cathy, looking very charismatic and charming.

They walked closer to each other, and the woman gave her a beautiful wide smile. Cathy surely recognized her. It was the woman with high prestige—Chantel Herron.

She addressed her hesitantly, afraid if she mistaken her name. “Catherine Charlotte, right?”

“Yes,” Cathy nodded “—and you’re Mrs. Herron. I remember.”

“What a pleasant surprise to see you here,” she grinned. “You know, it’s a great honor to be able to work with your dad.”

“Thank you,” Cathy nodded awkwardly. “Oh, you look so beautiful today.”

The wind blew mildly as she smiled at her compliment.

“What are you doing here?” Chantel asked. “Are you not supposed to go to school in Bisbee?”

“I have a sudden family business,” she answered, trying to keep it short.

“You have a family who lives here?” Chantel wondered. “Why are you walking alone then?”

Cathy just realized that Elle wasn’t with her, making her confused. However, her hunch told her not to share further information with this woman. “I was with my friend, she seems somewhere at the store. Oh, do you come with Scott?”

“No, he’s at home,” Chantel giggled, since she thought that her son wouldn’t go anywhere outside Arizona, but then her face turned emphatically. “I’ve heard your mom got into hospital, what happened?”

“She was attacked by—an animal,” Cathy needed to lie at this point, she felt guilty, but it was way easier compared if she had to explain a supernatural element involved with her mom’s accident.

Chantel was quiet for a second, as if her blood stopped pumping, but something looked secretive by the look on her face. Cathy noticed that too, before she gave her a pity expression.

“I feel sorry,” she patted her shoulder, gently.

Afterward, one of the corpulent men called her from afar. Cathy had just noticed that they had a creepy impression, as if something wasn’t human about them.

“Excuse me, looks like I have business to catch up,” Chantel said, caressing her shoulder sympathetically before she went away with those men. “See you next time, Miss Charlotte.”

Seemingly, Chantel looked back at her after a few footsteps away, and astonished by the sudden presence of the white hair angel.

Cathy surprised that Elle already appeared beside her, looking tensed while staring back fiercely at that detective. This time, she didn’t know there was a heat in the air between them.

The trip felt short, and they returned safely to Wachau Valley at twelve o’clock.

Carl Dalton thanked them enormously, he started cooking in the kitchen, and Cathy helped him cleaning up the dining table.

Meanwhile, Elle was upstairs alone in the lounge room. She peeped cautiously behind the curtain. It was about the odd view she caught, the yard looked fine before a young postman arrived, who walked staggeringly toward the mailbox as if he was about to fall.

She was observing his strange behavior; he stared blankly at the house a few times, acting like a stumblebum. In no second, her eyes popped out after seeing a slight precognition that Carl Dalton would notice his arrival soon. She sensed a precise danger. In a blink of an eye, she already moved like lightning to the foyer. Although the postman had not knock at the door yet, she would still like to have precautionary measure.

In the kitchen, Cathy terribly astonished to see her tangible ability of teleporting, while Carl Dalton looked like he almost had a heart attack.

“What are you, really?” She snarled, still feeling disbelief if that girl was really an angel.

“Hold Carl Dalton, don’t let him come out,” Elle said before walking out from the front door.

“What are you doing?” Cathy annoyed that she ignored her. “Hey!”

Elle already went to the yard, at the same time the door was closed roughly. At first, she walked like a normal girl would do, and gave him a warm smile. “Hello, greeting!”

The young postman stared sharply at her, he grinned and groaned instead. She forced him to have a handshake with her, and then the jolt from her hand had shocked him. The electric shock was throbbing into his palm hand painfully, making him infuriated. Seemingly, her power was pellucid.

“Jolt is my best weapon so far,” she chuckled.

The drastic effect of her jolt effect had turned him into a half beast. He kept grinning, even though he didn’t dare to challenge her in return. He groaned slightly, and his eyes started turning from black to gray.

Elle grabbed his neck, she was careful not to hurt the human body since she just wanted to talk with the demon that possessed him. She added the jolt volume. It wouldn’t hurt his human body, but on the contrary, for the demon to scream out the pain from the inside.

“Leave the boy alone, and leave us,” she muttered, sarcastically.

She faced him a little closer. He felt her heat energy was stabbing his whole body. Whenever a demon met an angel, a demon wouldn’t be able to endure the heat that got him ignited like the burning fire in hell.

“Someone demands you to spy on us,” she could read his mind like a shallow river. “Are you trying to insult an angel?”

His groaning was faded slowly when she gave him the ultimatum, but the boy was still in a trance condition since the demon didn’t want to go away yet.

Elle bulged out again at him. “Get a life before I’ll make it for you into hell.”

Finally, the demon left his body, and she pulled his hand away gently. He woke up, looking perplexed as if he just returned from sleepwalking. She patted his shoulder and told him to get a good rest at home. He just nodded obediently since he still felt confused.

Thereafter, Elle returned to the house for checking on the humans, and explained everything in their lunch time. Carl Dalton managed to stay calm after hearing of what happened, while Cathy seemed restless.

Once their eyes met each other, Elle showed her a gesture sign, telling her that everything was okay. “We’re safe.”

Chantel Mcintyre Herron came here with a distinct reason. She was not the type who liked to waste time. She was someone who capable to achieve anything that she wanted. Unfortunately, welfare was one thing that hard for her to reach. She had planned everything smoothly, like how she arrived in Austria at this moment to meet some of her old friends. There wasn’t any professional business here, nothing related about office work either, and she had no detective badge to show off in public, since she came all the way here for personal purpose. She hadn’t even started any real work in Bisbee, and yet, she decided to take a few days of furlough.

The first step, she had arranged a rare appointment with two men who knew the pathway around Austria, altogether to lead her to meet their boss. Apparently, they weren’t the right person to accompany her throughout this short trip. Those corpulent men were twins in black suit, sunglasses, and bringing black briefcases. They appeared more like secret agents to her. Hence, they could only tell her to meet the real deal, which was their boss, the new guy in this circumstance that they would discuss together.

Before Chantel walked here, at ten a.m. she remembered came across to the gypsies whom the heart broken by her harshness from a long time ago, precisely it was in the cold winter. She still remembered clearly of their names—Bubaa and Lionelle, they were the poor gypsy family. Because of that unexpected encounter, she got to recall the bitter memory where Bubaa announced the curse according to her own distinct precognition. That gypsy had no idea that Chantel shivered to hear all that, but she could only endure her exasperation alone.

“There is one girl in the future, she will come across to you, repaid all your mistakes again to destroy you.”

At that time, Chantel was holding her little son’s hand, which was Scott. She bulged out at the gypsy. She warned her in return, “You’re lucky I bring my son today, because if he wasn’t here, this should be your last breath.”

After that frontal encounter they had, Chantel left her speechless to kneel down alone on the winter ground, exactly in front of the gypsy’s shack.

The corpulent twins had led her to enter the VIP room in the five stars hotel. Finally, she met the man who was known in this country as the leader of demons. He was the devil’s minion, and he was the one who came to her bedroom in the cold midnight, in his truer form.

At this time, they introduced each other in formality. This was her first time to see him in a human form. During their conversation, she couldn’t stand the thought of telling him about the gypsy who could read her future.

“If I were you, then I believe so,” he chuckled. “The gypsy always has a true precognition when they lose their temper.”

“What kind of girl who would destroy me, Richard?”

He cringed when she called him by his fake name.

“Well, just assume that it is the girl you would never expect before.”

She sighed, and paused to drink a cup of bitter coffee. Sometimes, she glanced at the twins who were guarding the door, in case if someone would disturb this encounter.

“You know, our race will always lose in the end, why are you kept trying?” He smirked, devilishly.

“I will never give up to get what I want—persistency.”

“Of course, and there’s always something to repay for the dark.”

For a second, he stopped acting so almighty once he realized the real soul in front of him. Her eyesight was different now, as if she was trance, of a powerful form more than this man who appeared with slick hair and nice gray suit.

“But in this case, you shall be free, my Queen,” he took a bow and stared in fear at the real Devil, who had been hiding behind this beautiful human “—your experiment, soon will be done based on the sake of your generosity to open the portal for our kind.”

She chuckled, creepily. “If you wish for it to happen, bring me that royal’s child.”

“We’ll do our best, my Queen.”

He already met the angel who guarded the child she had referred. He knew how everything would be difficult at this point.

He already sensed the first painful encounter at the mini market, against that angel and the child. As if he was naked when that beautiful angel could stab him with the heat, which had the effect to turn him forcibly into his scary true form. In fact, he would rather worship his handsome young face in a human form, but as a demon, he felt a pathetic fallacy. Thus, he thought; if only he could catch the child without suffering along the way, it might have been marvelous.

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