The Flames That Bind Us

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1. Girl on Fire

“You have to focus more on your aim, Lydia.” My eyes were closed as the voice of my grandpa rang in my head. I tried to dismiss his repetitive words and the occasional hiccups that generated due to his He will fulfill his task of raising her. Then when it’s time, he’ll hand her over to the King.constant drinking-while speaking method. In my mind, I only saw blackness, and in the emptiness there was one thing I needed to focus on. A long, thin wooden post took shape in the middle of the darkness, and this post was the object of my flames at the moment.

“The key is to imagine your fire in a straight line.” Came the slurred voice of my grandpa. “And make sure,” he stopped let out a burp, “to hit it directly in the middle. Not lower, not higher, but directly in the middle!” I nodded, imagining the scene.

Curling my fingers, I breathed deeply and tried to clear my mind off everything but the wooden object a few feet before me. I was about to summon my magic when Grandpa’s voice cut through my concentration. “Oh, and be sure to not have your hand shaking. We don’t want the fire to burn off another shirt.”

“OK”, I replied.

“...and pants.”

I shook my head. Alright, where was I? “—And,” a nerve ticked. What is it now? “don’t make your body so stiff. What did I tell you about relaxing? Magic works better when its host is all loosened up. Otherwise, it won’t bind to your will.”

“Got it!” I wriggled my shoulders, attempting to shake the tension away. It became quite in my head again, allowing me to release a breath and clench my fingers tightly. I didn’t want to add so much pressure on it, so I allowed myself to go momentarily limp to generate the flames from my body.

I could already feel my palm getting hotter and it wasn’t because I was sweaty, though I did sneak a peak at the small amount of steam rising from my fist before I snapped my eyes shut again. Okay, now it was the moment of truth!

“Also—”

“Oh, for the love of the Gods, am I ever going to finish this!?” I snapped my head towards the direction he was sitting at, giving him a blind scowl.

I only heard him snort and mumble something like ‘ungrateful kid’ before the unmistakable sound of a bottle being chugged down reached me. I mentally rolled my eyes and resumed back to my goal.

Focusing my senses back to the post, I felt my magic forming as a faint sizzling sound filled my ears. I didn’t need to open my eyes to see the image of orange fire enveloping my entire fist, sweeping through my fingers and all the way to my wrist. I didn’t waste any time in launching the fire ball towards its goal, the heat of the flames leaving my skin to be unleashed through mid air.

Not a few seconds later, the sound of it colliding with the wooden post banged in the quietness. And with a hopeful grin I finally peeled my eyes open to see what I imagined in my head. My fire was indeed dancing around the now-blackened piece of wood, and my smile grew wider seeing that my aim this time was spot on.

I watched it burn until nothing was left but smokey chunks of wood, forming into ashes. Luckily though, the grass and the trees were enchanted by a charm so that it won’t get affected by the fire.

A feeling of pride washed over me and I turned around towards my grandpa in hopes of sharing it. “Did you see that!?” I squealed. But it was quickly toned down when I discovered that he wasn’t even paying the slightest bit of attention!

He sat under a tree with his knees bent and one leg crossed over the other. His eyes were on the porn magazine he had in his hands, scanning the naked girls displayed. With one hand, he flipped through the pages, and with the other he held the cheap booze bottle to his lips and gulped down the liquor.

“Seriously!?” I hoped he would have the decency to lift his eyes and look at me but he didn’t even flinch. I narrowed my eyes, crossing my arms over my chest with a huff. Why should I even bother?

Every morning, afternoon and midnight, he always trains me in the forest near our house. I do my best to improve my fire magic and he does nothing but sit there, reading porn magazines and chugging booze. That old geezer is such a pervert! Looking at naked, mortal girls and drinking his day through until he starts smelling like a freaking bar!

I swear most days I feel like I don’t even exist to him!

“Grandpa! When are you going to stop reading this shit and look at what I do?” I scowled at him, but he just licked his thumb and used it to flip another page. Is he kidding me with this? I was really tempted to throw a fire ball at that magazine he was reading and see what his reaction would be.

“Grandpa!?” Absolute silence. Ugh!

“What the hell did I do? My aim was right this time, so why the hell are you giving me the silent treatment?” I resisted the urge to stump my foot on the ground. Call me childish, but I hated when someone ignored me. Especially if it was done hundreds of times by the man before me.

Again, he said nothing. Okay, that’s it I’m throwing a fire ball at him!

Before I could conjure up another one, I saw Luxus’s appear behind the tree trunk. “Don’t worry about him, Lydia. I think that was really good” he said, running to me with his black tail hung behind him.

“You also think fish goes perfectly with cake, Lux. But thank anyway.” He gave me a grin then jumped to my arms. I cradled his tiny body and scratched his ears. As always, he enjoyed the feeling and snuggled his head closer to my chest.

Sometimes I think life as a cat was the best, at least they don’t have to worry about getting stronger or waking up at 6 in the morning for training. My best and only friend in this world was a cat, a talking black cat with piercing red eyes.

He was my friend since I found him when I was 5 years old. He was owned by a potion merchant who accidentally made Luxus drink a potion that allowed him to speak, and when the merchant found out what the potion had done, he tried to sell Luxus to earn more money.

Eventually, he was bought, but to a horrible family that never cared for him. And he ended up running away. The state I found him in when I was a child was unexplainable. He almost died of hunger and most of his fur was falling off. Needless to say, I didn’t need to think twice or even ask for permission to take him in.

“Is it time for you to speak or will you forever hold your silence, Grandpa?” I smiled at the hint of annoyance that painted his face every time I used the G word.

To my fortune, he finally decided to speak. “How many times do I have to tell you to not call me that?” His eyes were still on the magazine as he pushed a stray of his curly, light brown hair away from his jade-colored eyes.

“Why not? I mean after all your age certainly lives up to it. Or maybe ‘grandpa’ isn’t the right term? How about ‘great grandpa’?”

He always tells me to call him Lucius, but I simply loved teasing him so I refer to him as my grandpa. The word ‘dad’ was off the question, as he certainly made that clear. So ‘grandpa’ was a close alternative. Besides, he was 918 years old! He didn’t look like it, maybe a mortal would guess he was in his late forties, but 900 years is a long time to be alive.

In the past, he was said to be a great wizard. We even learned that in school under the subject of Magnificent Sorcerers and their Magical Findings. Apparently, my grandpa was one of the oldest, strongest wizards still alive to this day. And the guy who taught a whole village how to peel dragon scales and use them for harvest. Anyway, you can say he’s definitely wizard goals!

But, not once have I ever seen him use magic. All my entire 18 years I have never witnessed him use any form of Energy Magic. I have seen him teleport but other than that it was nothing.

The people in Vera, our town, say that he gave up on magic centuries ago. Why? I do not know. But I have always been curious. The people in our town don’t talk to him, each time he walks by they call him names and give him dirty looks.

He ignores them though, and keeps his distance. The only time he goes to the town is when he wants to buy booze. He went once to register me in school and that was the only time he actually got out without buying any alcohol.

“You were too slow. You have to be faster so your foe won’t be able to hit you,” he remarked at last, getting off and dusting his long black coat from the dirt on the grass. I nodded at his statement and made a mental note to work on my speed.“But you did improve in getting your aim right, I give you that.”

That made me smile like an idiot. “Thanks!”

He sighed, gulping a large sum of elven rum that some of the drink spilled down his chin. He wiped the gold liquid with the back of his hand and staggered at my direction. I had no idea how he kept his balance while looking so hammered, and it was pretty clear his blood-shed eyes didn’t get any ounce of sleep.

“You stayed up all night drinking, didn’t you?” My nose scrunched at the smell of alcohol that reeked from him, even though he stood a couple feet away.

“Geez, when was the last time you took a bath?” Luxus curled his tail around his stomach, as if that would prevent the smell from reaching him.

I held back a smile as Grandpa blinked at him. “Remind me why we keep that?"

Luxus hissed, and Grandpa attempted to do the same by grinding his teeth. “He’s right though. Why are you always like this at this time?” I asked.

“What do you mean?”

Should I bring it up? I knew he won’t answer me, but maybe it’s worth a shot. I decided to go for it. “I mean, you always get extra drunk on the last three months of the year. Last October you didn’t even come out of your room for two weeks.”

He gave me a long and hard look, and I knew that he wouldn’t say a word about it. But it was true. Every year he gets like this. I mean he always has a bottle of booze in his hands but at least he would take baths and stay sober a minimum of three hours. But at the end of the year he completely blacks out. I knew there was something behind that, but I wish I knew what.

Sometimes I would ask the people of this town about him, but either they answer with that they haven’t known anything about him until he came here after the last war, or they refuse to speak his name entirely. Either way, I was left with nothing.

He took another swig of his drink, this time turning his back to me and stumbling away. “Go get dressed, or you’ll be late to school.”

I bit the inside of my cheek, and exchanged a disappointed look with Luxus. Well, that went down the hill. I didn’t even know what I was excepting even though I’ve been getting the same response for years. It’s better not to question it, Lydia. But sometimes, I can’t help that nagging feeling.

**

When I arrived at our house, I couldn’t help but gaze at the view it had. Our house was on top of a hill and we were all by ourselves. From there, I could see the view of our town, Vera. The town was small compared to the four kingdoms towns because it was at the outskirts. At the far distance, I could see the kingdom of Imarnia.

The castle towers were the only thing visible about it really, and I’ve always thought it to be ironic how this was the only thing I could see. Because well, the castle was where he lived. The man I’m destined to be with since birth; King Gabriel James Imarina.

The Watchers of Fate told my Grandpa about my certain destiny and how I was meant for one of the four strongest wizards in Ignolia. Their instructions were that I would be trained and groomed to be strong, and most important of all; a virgin. For what? I don’t know. Grandpa wouldn’t tell me no matter how hard I tried to persuade him, and that resulted in so many angry outburst because it was my right to know and he was keeping it from me.

Sometimes I would think that he didn’t ask for any of this, because he wasn’t really biologically related to me. The Gods of creation created me, which means that I wasn’t born naturally. They told the Fate Watchers to assign a guardian to raise me until the day of my 18th birthday comes; which happens to be this very day.

Why until my 18th birthday? Because the King of Imarina was supposed to claim me on this day. The word ‘claim’ itself left a bad taste in my mouth. Who on Ignolia decided that my body would belong to King Gabriel? Did King Gabriel agree to this? And why exactly all of this was happening?

Every time I tried to question my grandpa about this, I would get a closed door to my face. So I learned not to ask.

Though I have heard some useful things about the King. I heard that he ruled this Kingdom for 200 years and that he was 339 years old. Yeah, he is pretty old, but that doesn’t really matter because wizards choose when to stop aging. I also heard that he was unbelievably good looking from the people who have seen him in our town. He’s also not married which means that Imarnia has no queen.

Well at least I won’t be sleeping with another woman’s husband...

Wait, no! I shouldn’t be saying that. I’m still trying to understand why am I to sleep with him in the first place? Honestly, I did not like it one bit. Most girls would kill for a king to touch them but to me I found it incredibly unsettling. I mean why would I want to sleep with a man I barley know just because he’s a king? And what makes the Gods think he would want to sleep with me? Why does anyone have to sleep with anyone?

You’re getting side-tracked here, Lydia. Now, I’m really going to be late. I sighed, clearing my thoughts and turning around to enter the house. Stepping into my room, I walked to the bathroom to take a quick bath. After I was done, I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my body and stepped out of the bathroom. I used the towel to dry my hair, and then I used my magic to make it completely dry.

I didn’t use live flames, obviously. I just transferred some heat into my hair, like one does.

I looked at myself in the mirror after I had gotten dressed in my school uniform, my facial-expression turning into it’s usual disgust whenever I lay eyes upon this hideous piece of garments. The dull, long, grey pinafore, matched with a white short-sleeved shirt and an even uglier red and grey bow tie, did not complement anything at all. And I wasn’t one of extreme fashion but I always tried to add a bit of glamour by wearing as many bracelets as I could.

I didn’t bother adding make-up because first, I had no idea how to use the modern tools brought in from the mortal world. And second, my face didn’t really need to stick out more than it already does. I was always considered a weirdo because of my hair and my eyes. I didn’t think I was. In fact, I really liked the way I looked but people in this town took every opportunity to make fun of me.

My eyes were literally the color of flames. They were huge and looked like real, glowing flames were forming inside of them. It’s strange considering that other people (who weren’t from different races) have normal eye color.

My hair was no different. It was wavy and reached just below my waist, and it was the color of the night; pitch black. But what’s odd about it was the end. It was black from the top but towards the middle it was the same color as my eyes; the color of fire.

The fact that I’m a Slifer answers all the questions on why my outer appearance differed from other average wizards. A Slifer is an ancient wizard that only exists in children books and old tales. Basically because they can control one of the four elements, and no wizard in Ignolia can do that. Obviously, I’m a fire one. But the thing is if I exist, that means others exist as well.

Why they hadn’t shown up before I had no clue. But my knowledge of Slifers was pretty limited. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find any books that explained further stuff about them other than the ones for children.

I also have the mark that shows I’m a Slifer, as if my eyes and hair weren’t enough my body had to be imprinted. It’s on the left side of my stomach, near my waist, and it’s in the shape of two curved S-shaped lines facing each other, their color a very vivid shade of orange and red.

I glanced at the clock hung on my wall, the little wooden mermaid holding a ship’s wheel taunting me, and realized that if I didn’t get my ass moving I would be in very serious trouble for being late to school, again. So I grabbed my back and hurried off towards the door, slamming it as loudly as possible and hoping that stupid clock had fallen off.

***

“Hey Lydia, how’s that old drunken fart doing? Bet he’s hammered as fuck, that he is!” Warren, my class’ most annoying kid laughed like a dying satyr as did his pack of airhead friends. I rolled my eyes as I walked pass his group and towards my seat. As I did, the male-ones snickered and oh-so obviously stared at my behind. The female-ones shot me dirty looks and glared at my hair.

I heard a familiar giggle and it belonged to none other than Johanna; Warren’s self-associated girlfriend. “Oh Wan-Wan, you’re so funny!” She placed her hand on his chest and he irritatingly shrugged it away. I tried to suppress a laugh at the sleazy nickname she gave him this time.

And I thought Warnie was horrible! Gotta give it to Johanna’s ability to make up the stupidest names.

As always, I held back any retort that threatened to come out and sat on my usual seat; the one nearby the window. I placed my bag on the desk and just turned my head away from the rest to gaze at the far outline of the town behind the stained glass.

I could still hear the whispers behind me, and I could just feel their eyes on me but I continued to ignore them. Do those people have nothing better to do but talk about other people behind their backs?

Though I guess I was used to that. I’m always being teased and called names just because I lived with Lucius Voltaire. The last thing that this town expected of him is to raise a child, and one that is a Slifer is certainly not what they expected. To think the people of Vera would be at least amazed that a real Slifer walked among them! But no, to have any relations with Lucius Voltaire meant I was an outcast too.

Who made up these rules I had no idea, but here they took it quite seriously.

They all thought of him as a drunken, perverted (which is kinda true), old fool who gave up on magic; a loser. But I’ve never thought that about Grandpa. Yes, it’s true that he’s always drinking and looking at naked girls, but all I saw in him was that he was hiding something by doing these things.

Despite everything, he was the man who raised me so there was no way I would think of him as a failure. And because of that, we were made invisible in this town.

But Warren Dranbolt made it clear that I would be visible as the daylight since first grade; and it was in the most demeaning ways. He thinks he owns the freaking school, all because he can use invisibility magic to prank the teachers. And let me tell you, it’s pretty disgusting when he strips in the bathroom and goes around the school pranking the students and the teachers with his stupid magic.

One time, he actually had the balls to slap my backside but I quickly reacted to that by throwing a fire ball at him even though I couldn’t see him, but luckily it hit him right in the ass and he had that burn mark for two weeks.

But, I was the one who got to clean the bathrooms even though he walked around the school harassing girls and pulling up their skirts. So you can see the justice system in this school is basically shit.

“I mean who the hell does she think she is?”

“I know, right! She acts all arrogant and mighty but we all know she’s equal to crap.”

“...and the fact she lives with that old fucker is even worse!”

“I only see her hang out with a cat! What’s up with that?”

“Whoa! What a loser!”

Laughter and whispers filled my ears and I wondered why they even bothered whispering in the first place? I mean I could obviously hear every word and it was clear they wanted me to hear everything. I was really tempted in setting the whole class room on fire, but the last time I did that I got a one month suspension and the teacher failed me in an exam I had previously taken.

But the fire was there, bubbling up deep in my stomach that I could feel my skin becoming hotter. One would think I got used to the bullying and the hurtful words, but no one really gets used to that. I just learned how to let some things slip and be the bigger person in the room.

Though it was getting really hard being that person...

I saw my school bag shift and I instantly smiled, knowing that Luxus was in my bag, probably had heard what they said about me and wanted to launch at Warren’s face and scratch it all over.

“It’s okay, Lux, just ignore them,” I reassured my bag. The shifting stopped and I knew that Luxus has calmed down. Or maybe he was planning on bursting out of it any second, but he knew better not to get me in trouble. I hide Luxus in my bag because it’s against the school policy to bring pets, but I just can’t leave Luxus because I have no one I could talk to.

“Hey Lydia, maybe you should consider getting your hair dyed? That color makes you look like a pile of garbage. Oh wait, it’s not your hair color!” Warren barked from where he stood, exploding into laughter at the stupidest insult I have ever heard in my entire life.

Seriously, what happened to insults in this world?

“Maybe I’ll consider dying my hair when you consider getting a non-invisible dick,” I responded without really looking at him, finding my chipped nails more interesting than his ugly face.

Gasps filled the entire class room, and I held back a proud smirk. I don’t always say a comeback but when I do I do it mercilessly. Some snorts were heard behind me, like they were afraid to laugh at Warren. I could even hear Luxus giggling from my school bag.

“What did you say, bitch!?” he snarled, and I could hear his steps coming closer. Though the word he called me hit a nerve, I didn’t even bother to spare him a glance.

Apparently he didn’t like that. “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” He reached to grab my arm, but with a quick reflex I caught his hand and twisted his wrist before he could lay a finger on me.

Insulting me is one thing, but daring to touch me is another.

He yelped as I put more strength to my grip, his eyes tearing up and before anyone could interfere, I got off my seat and kneed him in his sensitive area, causing him to scream and fall on the ground after I had let go of his wrist.

He rolled on the floor, weeping in high-pitched sobs as he cupped his junk and groaned a string of curse words. The rest of the class just stood there in shock, except for Johanna who knelt by his side, trying to sooth his pain.

I just stood over them with my arms crossed over my chest and finally smirked at the sight before me. The amount of satisfaction I felt overpowered the part of me that knew I was going to get in trouble for this, even though he was the one who tried to assault me in the first place.

But meh, it was worth it.

“Oh quit weeping! It’s not like there’s anything in there.”

♛♛♛ Gabriel James Imarnia♛♛♛

“What’s wrong, Gabriel? You look like you have a lot on your mind.” My second in command and my friend, Aero, tapped on my shoulder making me snap from my daze. I turned my head to look at him and he had that concerned expression on his face.

He was standing right next to my chair wearing normal mortal clothes instead of his uniform of being the Captain of the Guards. I have never fancied mortal clothes, so that’s why I always wear my usual black robes and epaulets, even though it seems old fashioned.

I sighed, throwing my head back to my study chair while rubbing my temples. “I do not understand the role of being a king but I guess it’s pretty tiring. I have never seen you exhausted like that,” he remarked.

“I’m not exhausted. I just have a lot on my mind.” I got up from my chair and walked towards the huge, double glass window that looked over Imarina.

I admired the beauty of my kingdom and how the landscape before me seemed to look like a mixture of every color. A very bright country for a very dark King, I always thought that to be quite ironic. I don’t know if it was the fact that I ruled what lay before me, but it seemed to bring a kind of soothing to my being.

“Are you thinking about that girl?” Aero stood beside me, looking at the scenery as well.

“Today is her birthday.”

“That girl is a Slifer. Have you ever seen one? I heard they had gone extinct since those last two showed up centuries ago.”

I shook my head. I know nothing of her, all I know is why I must claim her. The Fate Watchers have told me that she was destined to protect me. From what? I don’t know. But in order for her powers to develop I have to bond with her.

“Father had met one before. It was one of many stories he kept on repeating, never got tired of it.” His words and voice were still fresh on my memory even though it had been two hundred years since I’ve heard them, but the enthusiastic expression he had as he was recalling his tales was hard to remove from my mind.

Aero smiled faintly. “Ah yes, I remember that. I believe it was an Earth Slifer he met, wasn’t it?”

I nodded.

“...and you have no idea what element does the girl control?”

“I don’t even know her name, Aero!”

“Something tells me that you don’t even want to...” I heard him mutter to himself and I quickly shoot him a look.

I hated this. I do not need protection for I am a king and I possess the power of darkness and shadows. I am one of the four greatest wizards in Ignolia, and I do not need a girl to protect me. It had to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard, though most of the people close to me don’t agree.

“This is absurd,” I whispered to myself.

“Perhaps,” Aero patted my back, giving me a smile which honestly irritated me. “But you have to admit it is curious.”

“Curious isn’t exactly how I would put it.”

“Careful now, you wouldn’t want your sister to catch you saying that?”

I desperately wanted to roll my eyes at my sister and her delusional thoughts. “You would know, wouldn’t you? She always somehow manages to get whatever I say out of you. And you’re not exactly unwilling to spill.”

I gave him a side-glance, and his mouth spread in a grin, looking guilty but clearly not feeling it. “Lis doesn’t really take ‘no’ for an answer.”

“Clearly...”

My sister and her obsession with my safety can be dealt with later, but now I have to consider what to do with my current issue; the girl. I didn’t know anything that concerned her. The Watchers told me little about her but enough for me to know where to find her. I don’t even know what elements she controls.

Water, fire, earth or air?

I have never seen a Slifer before but I heard a lot about them from my mother when she used to read me bedtime stories in my childhood, and from Father’s famous encounter with an Earth Slifer. But I’m slightly curious to know what a Slifer can do. After all, these being were the epitome of their elements.

To us wizards, they were basically gods. Or at least a part of them.

The sisters told me that she is taken and raised by Lucius Voltaire. I know him because he used to be a great wizard but for some reason he left Imarina and now he lives outside in a town called Vera. He’s the one training her and taking care of her. If I find him, I find her. Do I want to? Absolutely not. But something tells me that she would find her way to me.

≼ ≼≼ Lydia Voltaire ≽≽≽

“I wish I was able to see Warren rolling on the ground, that would have been something hilarious to see!” Luxus beamed, jumping in the air slightly then back to the ground. We were on our way home from school and I was finally able to tell Luxus the full, juicy details of Warren and I’s little bicker.

“I wish you could have seen it too, Lux.” I’ve got to admit that I was feeling a bit victorious, though I did get punished for it. From now on I had to clean the class room after school for two weeks. But the reactions I got from Warren and Johanna were worth it.

Warren had his ass shaking like a leaf, and I had a feeling that he will think twice before saying anything bad about me again. But the glares I got from Johanna were the best. She was crying and angrily shouting bad words at me while I just stood there with all the smugness I could muster.

“Hey, Lydia...”

“Yeah, Lux?”

“Do you know when the King is coming to get you?” His completely out of nowhere question made all the previous glee I had wash away. Oh...that, I had somehow forgotten about it. Or more like hoped I would forget about it.

“I really don’t want to talk about this, Luxus.” I hated talking about this subject, so I was trying my best to avoid it. I know that I can’t do it forever but for the mean time I’ll just try to pretend like it doesn’t exist.

Though it would be hard knowing that any minute I would expect royal soldiers to knock on my front door. And come to think of it, I don’t even know how this arrangement would go? Would Grandpa and I head to Imarnia, or would the King come pick me up personally?

Ugh! ‘pick me up’? What am I, some cargo?

We were nearing our house, which was up a hill, and I noticed that Grandpa was leaning at the doorway with his arms folded together, and surprisingly no bottle of booze glued to his fingers.

“Sorry. But...um...if you leave, are you going to leave me?” he asked and I focused my attention on him. The look he gave me made my heart tug. He was looking up at me with those big, red eyes which held sadness, and a hint of fear.

Luxus has always been by himself. When I found him 13 years ago he was injured and starving. Even then it took him quite some time to get used to me and stop scratching me at any chance he got. I guess what his previous owners did to him left an impact and he became non-trusting of wizards.

But after a while, he and I grew closer and now we were basically inseparable. So the thought of leaving him was unspeakable to me.

I picked him up and held him close to my chest. “What are you talking about? You know I won’t ever leave you behind, right?”

His ears twitched and I took that for a yes, not wasting time in showering him with kisses as he mewled and attempted to push me away.

“Ew, no! Get your saliva off!”

“Why? You don’t like it?” I giggled.

“Whenever you two are done!” Grandpa called from where he was standing. I unattached my lips from Luxus’s fur and turned to look at him, waving.

“Hi, Grandpa!” He fixed me with a glare and I giggled even louder.

“Well since you two are here, there’s something that I have to tell you,” the look on his face showed that he was pretty serious, causing my stomach to grow suddenly upset. “Pack whatever you need. We’re heading to Imarnia.”

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