A Night of Mystic Lights
“Your highness, here is the last batch of papers from new recruits we received this week.” A maid peeked her head into the small office where a young sky blue haired Wolflian girl sat, fervently working away at a number of documents before her. Her hands moved from left to write, hastily writing unseen words on the forms before slamming them down to the left, making a currently large pile of papers even taller. To anyone else, it would look like a mess of a desk, however this girl was unknowingly yet meticulously writing quickly to fill the forms out while placing them in a pile of ‘signed sheets’, organizing them well.
This was the office of Princess Renne Araa of the kingdom of Fenrir.
“Your highness…?” The maid cautiously crept into the office to check on the girl, a look of concern crossing her face as she tried to get a better look at the Wolflian girl’s expression. She crouched down to peek at her face, and stumbled back slightly upon seeing the wicked smile on her face. Of course, this action alerted the girl to the maid’s presence and she looked up from her work with an innocent look in her eyes.
“Ah. When did you get in here?” She inquired with wonder. The maid rubbed her back while climbing to her feet and placed a small stack of papers before the girl, offering a small smile and bowing.
“I was bringing you the last of the forms the recruits filled out. These just need your signature.” She answered smoothly, tilting her head to the side as the girl before her went ‘’ah’’ and pulled the fresh stack towards her, glancing over them briefly before nodding. “Anyways, your highness. If I may ask, why, are you smiling?” When asked this, the Wolflian stared blankly for a moment before realizing this fact and laughed softly.
“That’s because today is a good day.” She replied simply. The maid before her raised a brow and her lips curled into a frown.
“A good day, your highness?” She echoed. Rennel nodded, placing her pen down and stretching her arms.
“It’s the Mystic Lights Festival in Erilin today. We’ve finally got a break between Akedime’s attacks, so I’m going down there to participate.” Once she heard this, the maid clasped her hands together like a lightbulb went off in her head, and she made a pleased expression.
“Ohh, well in that case why not invite Sir Veilheart to go with you?” Her words came as the Wolflian girl had returned to her papers, thus she ended up jerking her arm in surprise, her pen flying from her grip. With a startled look she looked to the maid. Renne stared for a moment before slumping back in her seat.
“That guy’s really busy lately with his search for his parents. I doubt I could get him to go, if I wanted to.” She answered with a tired, almost defeated voice. The palace maid leaned over the desk towards the young girl with crossed arms, arching a brow as if to say ‘’have you tried’’.
“I’m sure the young man will make an exception for you. Why not give it a try? It’s better to go to these events with someone you know.” She responded firmly. Renne opened her mouth to respond, but was unable to because of the sound rebuttal, resorting to shrinking in her chair and making a pouting face,
“You have a point.” Perhaps it was due to being defeated in this argument, or if she wasn’t planning on going with anyone, but either way the Wolflian girl was forced to agree and breathed out. “I’ll go see him once I’m done here. Thank you for bringing the recruit forms.” Her words were met with a pleased smile and a formal bow from the maid, who promptly turned on her heel and strode out of the office, leaving the girl to her thoughts. The door gave a small creak before shutting, and slumping forwards in her seat Renne crossed her arms, leaning into them and narrowing her eyes.
“Hua… going to the Mystic Lights Festival with him huh? It’s not a bad idea, but will he agree?” The thought only briefly crossed her mind before she shook her head a few times, patted her cheeks and gave herself a reassured nod. “No, it should be fine! I need to finish this paperwork before then. Time to focus.” Upon seeing the work left though, she made a face of dismay.
This could take a while.
“Quit leaving your lower body exposed!” The voice of a Fenrir commander echoed through the training hall on the lower floors, followed by the grunt of a younger Wolflian as he was kicked to the floor. With a groan, he rubbed his white haired head and glared at the man in front of him.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked with slight distaste while climbing to his feet. The Wolflian swordsman in front of him huffed as he lowered his broadsword to the ground.
“You have a style that utilizes the muscles in your lower body. You have to protect that area as much as possible in a fight now.” He explained with surprising ease and calmness, despite the anger he was displaying just a moment ago. “You have strong foundations to begin with, all you need to do is work with them to improve.” It was unusual to see this man, Lars Asgarich praising the young Wolflian in front of him, Riy Veilheart like this but it was more welcomed this way. Patting his clothes down, the younger Wolflian leaned his head to the side and gave Lars a look of suspicion.
“You hit your head or something this morning?” He inquired, earning a harsh glare from the commander.
“Huh?” Was his reply, although it came out more like a grunt. Riy scratched the back of his head with a grin as he prepared his response.
“Well, you usually kick me around the training hall and shout. Today you’re in an oddly good mood.” The corner of Lars’ mouth twitched and it formed a crooked smirk as he cocked his broadsword to the side.
“Oh? Should I start yelling and kicking you now?” He asked in a menacing voice. Riy stepped back while raising his arms up defensively, a nervous smile on his face as he backed up.
“A-ah no that’s not necessary-” Before he finished his sentence, Lars had already brought his weapon up over his head with a malevolent smile, preparing to swing it down. The instant it began to move down however-
“Lars!” He froze and looked past the younger Wolflian in front of him to find that Renne was stepping down the stairs with a disapproving look. “You’re going to scare off all the recruits this way.” On a normal day, the commander might back down from this, however today was different.
“If they’re scared off by something like this, then they shouldn’t be signing up in the first-” He was stopped mid sentence by a cold stare from the Fenrir Princess who crossed her arms, an intimidating aura around her caused Lars to step back with a twitch. “Yes your highness of course.” Satisfied with this response, Renne turned to Riy with a more benevolent smile and relaxed.
“Care to join me?” Her carefree tone made the Wolflian teen cock his head to the side out of curiosity.
“Join you…?” He echoed. The Wolflian girl nodded and took a step back.
“Yes. There’s a festival going on in the city of Erilin.” She tilted her head to the side and stared innocently. “That is, if you want to go.” The male Wolflian stared blankly for a moment before waving his hands frantically and nodding.
“N-no no! It’s fine! I’d love to go.” He replied earnestly, unintentionally bowing which elicited a laugh from his noble friend who stifled it with her slender hands. Placing both hands behind her back and turning on her heels, she exchanged looks with the boy before starting back up the stairs.
“Please meet me by the front gates of the palace in an hour. We’ll depart then.” With those words, she disappeared around a corner at the top of the stairs, leaving Riy with Lars who was displaying his full discontent with the situation. A chill traveled down the teen’s spine, and looking over his shoulder he saw the corner of the Wolflian commander’s mouth curl into a smirk, albeit twitching in the process.
“Do you know what you’ll be doing when you return?” Although the words came out without any shaking or hint of anger, Riy was certain that Lars was angry. Offering a cheery grin, the younger teen stepped back slowly towards the stairs with his hands up.
“Sleeping.” He remarked, placing his left foot on a step behind him. This was enough to set Lars off and he waved his broadsword around in a threatening manner.
“You’re tripling the training!” This was all it took to send the younger Wolflian swordsman scrambling up the stairs to get away, and without a second glance he turned the corner at the top, disappearing from the view of the Wolflian commander, leaving him with a disgruntled expression and a hand on his side.
“Too tight? No… too plain.” Riy fidgeted in the dark blue robe that he had changed into, playing with the fabric wrapped around his neck. This was the same robe he’d worn on the day of the Lunar Festival, so he assumed it was appropriate for this occasion. However not knowing what this ‘’Mystic Lights Festival” was about made him nervous. There was another factor that made him jittery, though it wasn’t quite as obvious.
“Are you ready yet? it’s not good manners to keep a lady waiting.” The voice belonged to Celeste Araa, the older sister to Renne and also the leader of Fenrir’s military forces. Her short white haired head peeked into his room with a frown and she crossed her arms upon seeing his anxious state.
“Er, I’m almost ready. Just give me a minute.” He replied hastily while making sure his robe was fastened around the waist with its sash. Celeste gave a disapproving look and sighed before stepping into the boy’s room.
“You don’t need to be so anxious. It’s not your first time attending a festival with Renne.” She said softly to him while placing a hand on each of his shoulders, then gently massaging them. This came as a surprise to the boy, though he gratefully accepted it and breathed out softly.
“It’s just a bit, weird is all. I mean, she’s the future ruler of Fenrir, and I’m just a person she calls a friend. It’s-” Before he was able to finish his sentence, Celeste suddenly tightly gripped his shoulders, making sure to cause enough pressure and earned a yelp from the boy.
“You shouldn’t talk like that.” She warned him in a soft voice, relaxing her grip and using his shoulders to lean forwards a bit. “Renne doesn’t look at anyone through her eyes as a noble. She treats people the same, whether you're a commoner or a king.” Hearing this, Riy couldn’t resist a small smile and finally relaxed his posture, lowering his arms to his sides and closing his eyes.
“I guess you’re right.” He just looked up while opening his eyes partially and grew a cheerful grin. “I hadn’t really thought about it, but she does act like a normal girl around me and even Irra.” The Wolflian woman chuckled when he said this and took a step back, running a hand through her hair before placing both on her hips.
“So you don’t have to stress. Just act like you normally do around her in Erilin at the festival.” She instructed. This time, instead of hesitance Riy nodded firmly and turned to face her.
“Yeah. Thanks, Celeste.” He remarked gratefully. The boy took a few steps past her after saying this and the Wolflian woman laughed.
“That’s rare, you’re thanking me now.” Her statement made him stop shortly to look back at her with a curious face, not understanding what she meant.
“Huh? What do you-” Celeste gave him a quick shove that pushed him out of his room into the hallways, giving him a wave and a nod in response.
“Just go on. Don’t keep my sister waiting. You’d be surprised how scary she can be sometimes.” Those words were enough to get the boy hurrying down the hallway of the second floor, and watching him turn a corner and disappear from view Celeste released a long sigh while lowering her arms to her sides.
“Good luck.” She whispered softly, then thinking of something completely irrelevant she brought a hand to her chin and arched a brow. “I wonder how that guy’s doing, come to think of it. Maybe I’ll send a letter his way.” Nodding to herself, she walked out the door and closed it behind her, growing a suspicious smirk at the thought of what would transpire today.
“I hope she isn’t too mad when she finds out how much the festival has changed.”
Quickly hurrying down the stairs to the main hall on the lower floors of the palace, Riy was greeted by the familiar sight of Renne standing by the front gates of the palace. It was becoming something of a daily thing, as the boy often assisted the Fenrir princess in various field tasks, whether it was repelling monsters from nearby towns, or simply being an escort for a caravan. He was growing used to it.
Though this time, he caught her in a different outfit, and even though it was one he’d seen once before, it still made his face redden slightly. She was wearing the light blue robe that she’d worn during the Lunar Festival much like Riy was, and similarly her waist length hair was combed to accent the curls at the tips. Upon approaching her, a pleasant fragrance filled his nostrils and he reflexively took a few steps back. Hm? This smell…
Of course, having gotten distracted by his thoughts, he was unaware that he was making a weird face and this attracted Renne’s attention. When he realized she was standing there, leaning towards him with hands on her hips and a knowing look on her face, the Wolflian teen felt a bead of sweat roll down his face.
“What is it?” Was all Riy was able to say. His female friend didn’t answer, simply staring at him in the eyes for an uncomfortable period of silence. Renne said nothing and leaned closer and closer, to a point where the mysterious fragrance around her now completely overwhelmed the young male Wolflian’s senses and his thoughts were thrown into disarray. His face grew hot, and at that moment-
“What are thinking about?” Finally the Wolflian girl spoke, and it helped Riy collect his thoughts somewhat. Averting eye contact, he scratched his cheek in an embarrassed fashion while thinking of a response.
“Well… I just thought you looked really pretty tonight.” Taken aback by this, Renne just stared with wide eyes at his comment for a moment before softening her expression and showing a wide smile.
“Thank you.” Turning on her heel, she strode towards the palace front gates and with a light shove, pushed them open to let in the familiar chill of the snow laced wind. Feeling a few snowflakes brush against his face, Riy stepped forwards next to the Wolflian girl, and receiving a nod from her, the pair stepped out into the wintery fields outside the palace. As they departed, the two were unaware that they were being observed from a safe distance, and the people doing such an activity peered around one of the nearby pillars once they were far enough away.
“My oh my. I never thought that the anti social Renne would become so close with a boy like that.” The first person to talk was the maid who had come to the Wolflian princess’s office early, bringing her hands to her cheeks while imagining what the pair would do while they were gone. Lars gave her a look of disdain while folding his arms.
“Please. The most that guy needs to do is protect her when necessary.” He remarked with a low tone. The maid shot him an amused look when she noticed the tone in his voice.
“What’s this? Don’t want another boy getting close to her highness?” Her teasing voice was met with a groan from the Wolflian commander who faced away and rolled his eyes.
“Absolutely not. The princess needs a clear head to be able to lead.” His remark was met with intense glares from the maid, and as they locked gazes there was a sigh followed by the clicking of boots which stopped their bickering.
“Honestly. You’re both so unprofessional.” Was the comment Celeste made as she crossed her arms with a scowl after appearing behind them. Lars and the maid both cowered under her presence, and the Wolflian female rubbed the back of her head while thinking of what to say to them.
“You might think it’s important for Renne to have a clear head, but actually thanks to Riy, I’ve gotten to see so many different faces of my sister that I haven’t seen before.” She finally said with a happy smile. “It’s important to be able to think in any situation, but it’s also important to be able to have moments like these.” Neither Lars nor the maid could refute this and just watched where the pair in question had been moments ago. Content with their reaction, Celeste clasped each of them on the shoulder and bore a sinister smile.
“Now that we’ve said that, it’s about time for you two to get back to work.”
Apparently the lead knight of Fenrir was even more frightening than her best subordinates, because after she said that Lars and the maid went back to work without argument.
“It feels so nice to be on the open seas like this again.” Renne remarked with a hand to the side of her face as the wind blew her hair upwards. Her body leaning over the railing on the ship that she and Riy were taking to get to the city of Erilin, and watching her act this way the young Wolflian boy couldn’t resist a smile.
“Do you like being on the ocean, Renne?” He inquired innocently. The Wolflian girl looked back at him and nodded pleasantly.
“Yeah. It feels like this way I can go so many places.” She told him with joy evident in her voice. “I used to go on trips like this a lot when I was younger, back when everyone was still at the palace.” Hearing his Wolflian friend say this, Riy recalled how the palace was currently void of any parental figures, thus it was being held together by Renne and Celeste’s combined efforts. Lowering his gaze downwards, Riy narrowed his eyes.
“Oh yeah… sorry.” The sudden drop in tone made Renne look to the boy with a worried face.
“Why are you apologizing all of a sudden?!” Riy glanced to the side while clenching his jaw, feeling a wave of guilt suddenly pass over him.
“It’s just… I made you recall something so unpleasant.” He mumbled half heartedly. Renne just stared at him in response before laughing softly, something that startled the teen.
“You don’t have to apologize about something like that. It’s alright.” She told him flatly, but gently. When she said this with conviction, Riy was shocked and could only watch in awe as she stood there calmly.
“Huh? But-” Riy was cut off by Renne who put a finger to his lips and shook her head.
“Because you promised me. That’s enough for me.” She gave a simple, concise answer and took a few steps back, folding her hands behind her. Meanwhile Riy just observed the girl in wonder at her behavior. He was amazed at her confidence, and her unwavering faith in others. I just said it spur of the moment, and I wasn’t sure how I could possibly help her find her father. But now, I… The Wolflian teen walked up to the railing next to Renne and grasped the bars with a resolute expression. I will give it my all.
The Wolflian girl that was his companion walked up next to him, placing a hand on the railing and began to close her eyes as the gentle sound of waves rolling along the ocean surface filled her ears. She herself was nearly lulled to sleep by the relaxing atmosphere, however a sudden weight against her shoulder caused the girl to fumble slightly, turning in time to find Riy falling against her, his face unintentionally resting against her chest.
Although initially flustered by this, upon closer inspection after carefully grabbing hold of the Wolflian teen she noticed a small rhythmic breathing coming from him. Turning his head slightly, she noticed his eyes were shut and breathed a soft sigh of concern.
“You’ve been working so hard lately. I guess I forgot that.” She whispered to him, despite knowing that he had fallen asleep. Holding the boy awkwardly in her arms, she slowly sat down and swept her legs out in front of her while lowering Riy’s head gently into her lap. Glancing down at his sleeping form, the Wolflian princess resisted saying anymore and settled with lightly stroking his hair.
“I really am happy. Thank you for all you’ve done to this day.”
When his conscious returned to him, Riy noticed that the first thing he felt was a soft sensation against the back of his head. Not knowing what it belonged to, upon opening his eyes he found himself staring up at the skies. He noticed a face out of the corner of his eyes, and glancing slightly to the side he saw Renne staring pensively off into the distance. At first he just watched her peaceful face, then after a while it finally hit him. A shade of red crossed his face and looking ever so slightly left he saw the girl’s stretched out legs.
T-t-this is a- The teen didn’t even finish processing the thought before he bolted upright, his eyes wide and his heart beating rapidly in his chest. Renne’s reaction to this was delayed, and lazily looking at him she tilted her head sideways.
“Oh Riy. You’re awake.” She said with a monotonous voice. For some reason the boy thought he detected a trace of anger in the Wolflian girl’s tone, and nervously sliding backwards his face twitched.
“R-Renne? Is something wrong?” Was his first question. Renne blinked a few times before realizing the situation and suddenly laughed at an alarming volume.
“Oh! I’m sorry. I was so absorbed in my thoughts I forgot about you there.” She replied honestly while revealing a sheepish smile. Suspicious, Riy cocked his head sideways a bit and placed a hand on the ship deck where they were sitting.
“Ah… uhm, why was I-” Renne knew instantly what he was going to ask and rubbed the back of her head.
“You were tired and ended up collapsing against me. I just thought I’d offer a pillow-” She stopped mid sentence upon seeing the embarrassed look on Riy’s face, and suddenly feeling some herself she jumped back in a fluster and waved her arms frantically. “I-I was just trying to be helpful! That’s all…” Both Wolflian teens avoided eye contact at this point, and was it not for the sounding of the ship’s horn, they likely would’ve stood there longer.
“We’re heeere!” A sing song voice reached the ears of the ship's passengers, and finally looking at each other the pair shared a look before joining one another and walking towards the front of the ship to see. As was stated, the trip was over, and they had arrived at their destination. The city of Erilin, a small location on an island to the east of Fenrir’s capital. It is surrounded by a ring of icebergs that makes it difficult to approach otherwise, but this ship was a Fenrir military special designed model, so that wasn’t a problem.
Stepping onto the solid raised platform by the docks off the ship, Riy and Renne hurried onto solid ground and turned away from their ride to the city to see just what awaited them. As Renne had described earlier to Riy, the city was more urban compared to the capital. The pathways were paved not with concrete, but smooth polished granite that almost seemed to shine under the lights of the lamps that were lined along the side. The houses were decorated for the occasion with ribbons and specially designed tapestry, giving an elegant but simple look to the area.
Many tents were set up throughout the yards in front of the houses and buildings, and along with this many bells and crystals were hung from the lamps and windows. It was a nice, almost homey feel and glancing around Renne joyfully took in the atmosphere with a big smirk.
“It’s been so long. I’m glad I could make it here.” She said out loud, stretching her arms. Riy just looked to her with a content grin and looked around himself, initially failing to notice the familiar black twintail figure that was walking along the streets. Until-
“Riy! Renne!” Both Wolflians looked in the direction of the voice, and were surprised to see a familiar face. It was their comrade and friend Irra Vampera, the sister of Gabriel Vampera and also the newest Summoner born to the world of Magic. She was wearing a red colored robe as opposed to the brighter colored ones that the Wolflians wore, and greeting the Vampire with a wave Renne leaned slightly backwards.
“Irra! It’s a surprise to see you here!” Her voice was laced with joy, however it wasn’t hard to notice that she was both surprised and confused by the Vampire’s presence, considering it was a Fenrir event.
“Hehe. I came around when I heard they were giving away free Solium Gear today.” She answered after coming to a stop. She looked to Riy, then back to Renne and suddenly grew a mischievous smile. “I’m surprised you came together though.” The two Wolflians shared a puzzled look at this and looked back to Irra.
“What do you mean?” Riy was the first to say. Their Vampire friend said nothing and simply turned, looking at the people passing by. This prompted Riy and Renne to look around, and they noticed people walking around, not in groups of three, but in pairs. It didn’t mean anything to them at first, but noticing more and more people walking around in pairs, specifically ones of man and woman, it become increasingly apparent about one thing.
“Uhm…” Riy uttered with a bead of sweat rolling down his face. Irra snickered with a hand to her mouth and eyed the two Wolflians with an amused expression.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t know?” She asked in an almost taunting manner. Renne just shook her head in a childlike manner and the Vampire sighed heavily, bringing a hand to her forehead.
“This year the Mystic Lights Festival invited all couples to come see the many vendors, light shows and performances.” She explained while raising a finger like an instructor, holding it up as she talked and observing the quickly changing faces of her Wolflian friends. “And since you arrived together… I’m sure people noticed you disembarking on arrival.” By this point, both Riy and Renne were too flustered and stunned by this turn of events, and avoided eye contact with each other. Riy turned one way and Renne brought a hand to either side of her face in a fluster.
“H-how could I not have known this? Celeste just reminded me it was-” Halfway through her sentence, she froze upon realizing where this was going and her face darkened with a deep frown overtaking it. “I was wondering why she was so eager to send me off today.” Irra briefly looked away and stifled a laugh, making sure to compose herself before turning back to Renne and putting a hand on her hip.
“Well it’s not a big deal. Just go along with it for now.” She told her flatly. Curling her hands, she threw them at her sides in protest and faced her friend with a flustered face again.
“That’s not so easy! People will start assuming that I have chosen someone to b-be with me, and-” Irra cut in with a sigh and a wave, taking a few steps back towards Riy and sympathetically put a hand on his shoulder, startling him somewhat since he wasn’t facing them at the moment.
“Are you going to just let it go like that then? You came all this way.” She inquired softly. Renne’s expression softened and she bit at her lip while looking to the side slightly, feeling a mix of emotions well up inside her because of this subject.
“Of course not. It’s just…” Irra sighed again as the girl trailed off and she put a hand to her sided.
“Just explain it to them then. Say you’re here as friends. It won’t be that hard “ Her response made Renne start thinking, and seeing that the girl still didn’t have a response the Vampire groaned. “I’ll help too. If need be anyways.” For whatever reason this seemed to make Renne relax, and she exhaled softly before uncurling her fingers and nodding.
“Okay. Thank you Irra.” She finally said with a grateful tone. Seeing this, the Vampire was content and suddenly gripped Riy’s shoulder strongly.
“Right. Now then-” Without warning she suddenly shoved the boy forwards towards Renne, the boy letting out a yelp in the process and forcing Renne to grab a hold of him so he didn’t fall over. Wearing a pleased grin, Irra motioned with her arm. “We’re here, so why don’t we go sight seeing now that our little introductory meeting is over?” Both Wolflians looked to one another before smiling and nodded to their friend.
“Yeah, let’s go.” With a definitive choice, the newly formed trio stepped into the bulk of the crowds and began to mingle amongst the people there. Making sure to stick together, they made their way to the left side of the city and began to move forwards from there. As they walked, Riy looked to Irra with a wondering face.
“Hey Irra, didn’t you say you came here for something?” His sudden inquiry was met with a light chuckle from the Vampire who reached between the folds of her robe and pulled out a circular metal object that bore a single red gem in the middle. The wavy design around the edges gave it a mystique that caught one’s eye, and Irra held it up with a triumphant smile.
“I already bought it.” Her quick response made Riy slump his shoulders with a sharp sigh, “Now I’m here, I might as well socialize. Besides, I didn’t know you both were coming. I honestly only expected Renne today.” Riy knitted his brows upon hearing this and crossed his arms
“What do you mean by that exactly?” He asked aloud as the group broke away from the mass of couples and found themselves in front of a large booth that happened to be selling a variety of charms and other accessories. While Renne cheerfully approached to browse, Irra put the back of her hands to her hips and revealed a sly smile.
“Well you’re looking for clues to your parent’s whereabouts right? I didn’t think you would have time for something like this.” She was referring to how the festival was made more for couples this year, and since neither Riy nor Renne knew this, it was bound to become awkward. Shifting uncomfortably, Riy sheepishly rubbed the back of his head and looked around at the city’s sights.
“Ah well… I’m just waiting for some information to come in is all.” He lied. It wasn’t completely wrong, but it wasn’t exactly true either. The teen already had a lead he was following up on, and had a week left before he departed from Fenrir. Irra furrowed her brows as she didn’t completely buy this, and a deep whispering in her ears confirmed it.
“He’s lying. He just wanted to come with Renne.” The voice, although belonging to no one physically there, was the Spirit Faara, whom Irra had formed a contract with a while back. Hearing this, Irra snickered and shot Riy a knowing look, something that he was shocked by.
“Uhm… what’s that look for?” He asked worriedly. The Vampire didn’t respond, instead choosing to turn as Renne walked back up to them with a content smirk while twirling a leaf shaped charm in her hand.
“Find what you were looking for?” Irra asked, knowing the answer anyways. renne nodded as she brought the charm to the left side of her head, taking care to wrap it around a portion of her hair and breathed in the fumes it was releasing.
“Mmm… yeah. This should help with the stress of the work at the palace.” She answered softly, closing her eyes slowly as she talked. Riy tilted his head a bit from curiosity as he didn’t know what the item was, and could only notice the earthy odor the charm was giving off. It mixed in well with the fragrance around Renne, and the combined smell once again overwhelmed the Wolflian teen’s senses, forcing him to step back in surprise.
“Ack, err… what is that for exactly?” He asked while trying to get a hold of himself. Renne just gently brushed the surface of the charm with the back of her hand before looking to him.
“It releases a special fragrance that affects a Spiritist who wears. It keeps their lungs clean and also helps remove any impure Mana from the body.” She explained, and halfway through Irra resumed a studious pose with a raised finger, nodding along.
“Since some internal organs of a Spiritist already work to keep the body clean, this charm ends up causing the owner to relax because their body isn’t working as hard. It doesn’t have to, see?” Although it sounded somewhat complex, Riy could at least understand the jist of it. While they were having their conversation, couples who were walking by happened to notice the three and specifically taking note of the two Wolflians, watched with awe.
“It’s Princess Renne. Is that a boy she’s here with?”
“Oh my. I had no idea that there was someone like that.” Even if these words were whispered amongst each other, they were still caught by the ears of the Wolflians and with a groan Renne brought a hand to her face to hide it. Irra picked up on this and chuckled uneasily, running a hand through her hair as she glanced around to see the many people staring.
“Ahh look at that. It’s starting.” She remarked with a hint of dismay. Patting Renne on the shoulder, she subtly urged the girl to stand up for herself and gently turned her to face the onlooking crowds. “Tell them why you’re here then. They’ll understand. Probably.” Swallowing hard, the Wolflian girl steeled herself before opening her mouth to respond, displaying a half smile at them.
“This is a slight misunderstanding everyone. We’re not here as a couple. I just brought a friend along today.” She called out to them. Her words arose murmurs and gasps amongst the couples watching, briefly diverting their attention.
“The princess isn’t here on a date?”
“Ah but that boy is rather cute.” The corner of Riy’s mouth twitched and he wasn’t sure how to respond. Part of him felt a bit of joy at the compliment, but deep down he knew this was causing Renne trouble. Glancing towards her, he noticed how uneasy she was. Irra seemed to notice this too, as with a single swift motion she grabbed Riy’s wrist, and Renne’s wrist. Pulling them forwards she displayed an outwardly friendly smile to the crowd of couples, pulling the two Wolflians along towards them.
“Excuse me. We’re actually here together. So if you don’t mind…” Whether or not they believed this, the crowd still parted none the less and allowed them through. There were traces of gossip and whispers passed amongst each other, but the trio ignored this as they hurried away from the crowds, heading for the northmost part of town.
Irra stole a few glances back to see if anyone started following them, and thankfully this wasn’t the case. Satisfied with this once they were a good distance away, she released Riy and Renne from her grip, crossing her arms and displaying a disgusted face.
“Ugh. I hate people like that. Gossipers are the worst.” She remarked while gritting her teeth. It wasn’t like either of the Wolflians with her didn’t understand, and after sharing a look, they sent her smiles of appreciation and breathed out.
“Thanks for that Irra.” Renne said, looking around the area and putting a hand to her hip. “You really helped out there.” Irra lost her sour expression and replaced it with a grin.
“Well I said I would.” She replied with a triumphant voice. Looking to Riy, then back to Renne her expression loosened and she extended a hand. “Why not find something to do until the evening. That’s when the real show starts, right?” Both of the Wolflians nodded instantly.
“Of course. Let’s all do something fun.”
Of course, each of them had different ideas of what fun meant, and ended up dragging the trio around the entirety of the city for most of the day. Whether it was simple games that a child would play, catching objects out of the water, or target practice with a bow, they all participated at least once. It kept their spirits up, and as a result they created new memories that made the day even greater.
By the time the night was sweeping over the city, the lamps scattered around town were now casting a luminescent glow around themselves, giving a mystic feel to the streets and making the atmosphere seem more romantic. For Riy, Renne and Irra who were sitting at the northmost part of town where ‘the main event’ was supposed to go down, this inadvertently kept the gossipers from earlier away, helping the group to relax.
Sitting at the front row of benches arranged in front of a huge body of water, they exchanged looks and conversation while waiting for the others. The discussion travelled from simple chit chat, to even discussing the details that entailed how Riy and Renne first met. It made Irra bring a hand to her mouth to stifle laughter, after hearing how the Wolflian girl had broken into Riy’s home and looked away to avoid the dagger like glare that Renne shot her.
“I had no idea you were that bold. Who knew a princess would break into someone’s home.” Irra remarked from her covered mouth. Her Wolflian friends both looked like they wanted to say something, but as people begin to filter in behind them they chose to remain silent and focused on the huge body of water before them.
“Ahem. It looks like they’re starting now.” Renne remarked while folding her hands in her lap. Riy didn’t face her, but voiced his curiosity while staring forwards.
“What exactly is going to happen?” His childlike wonder made the girl smile innocently and closed her eyes.
“You’ll see.” As more and more people filled the many benches behind them, it was becoming apparent how big of a deal this was to the people of Fenrir. The moment that all the of the seats were taken up, a stunning silence fell over area and everyone faced forwards.
Then, at that moment, a dim light appeared in the center of the water in front of them. It was at first, just a small dot. Like a speck in the wilderness. Then it started to expand, becoming fast traveling lines of light that moved along the surface in all directions. It even reached out to the crowd watching, intricately weaving its way between the rows of benches. The light itself was still dim, but this sight alone was still surprising for Riy, who wasn’t accustomed to something like this.
What’s all this about? His thoughts danced in his mind while the lights formed intricate patterns along the surface of the water, slowly growing brighter as it expanded. It was then at that moment, that they seemed to spring forth from the water into the air, and the specks of light had become large floating orbs.
Those orbs then became trails of countless tiny spheres that spread forth, intermingling with the people in the benches. They wormed their way around the seats, even dancing right before the eyes of the onlookers. With wide, awestruck eyes, Riy wordlessly reached up towards one of the light trails and found that his hand went right through it. He thought he heard a small laugh escape Renne’s lips, but didn’t turn and focused on watching this mystical show.
Those trails of lights not only wandered through the air, but also began to change to different colors. They ranged from magnificent blues, to eye catching reds and moved in large circular patterns around the audience. Rising up, then slowly back down. They converged on one another, forming four large rings of light around everyone. Then, they hovered there in place. The small orbs of light in the trails travelled around, but never broke away.
“Amazing… it’s, beautiful.” Riy muttered under his breath. As the lights weren’t moving, he took this opportunity to steal a glance at Renne, and was caught off guard to see the peaceful look on her face. Like she was as mesmerized by this as he was. Then he thought of something else. Has she seen this before? The trails of light were reflected slightly in her eyes and she slightly closed them, taking in the atmosphere.
It was at that moment, that the four floating rings of light suddenly burst, exploding into countless spheres that stayed suspended in the air, coming in all kinds of colors. More mesmerizing was how soft the light was. It wasn’t blinding. It was like they were cloaked by a thin layer of rain, obscured just enough to give them a misty glow. The lights drifted back and forth in the air, and once again taking this opportunity Riy reached out towards a sphere, coiling his hand around it.
He was startled to find that this time his hand was able to grasp its form, even if it was mysterious. It wasn’t completely spherical, but still fit perfectly in his palm. Is this Mana? As if answering his question, there was a voice at his side and he peered to the right where Renne was.
“So wonderful… this is what Mana should be used for.” Her eyes were almost closed at this point, still watching the spectacle unfold. Riy looked back at the light sphere in his hand and released it, letting it drift back forwards. It was a period of this now, where the specs of light just hovered in the air. It was amazing, how they didn’t move yet remained awe inspiring in their solid form. It was like a representation of the kindom’s will.
It’s amazing to see this. Is this how everyone is? Standing together? This time, nothing answered his thoughts, and the orbs of light slowly pulled towards each other again. Slowly merging back into trails of light, Riy himself felt like he was going to doze off with how relaxing the atmosphere was. It was at this moment that he felt a sudden, soft weight against his shoulder and he turned towards it to find Renne laying her head against his shoulder. Although surprised, he noticed that her eyes were closed and he felt a small bit of worry.
“Poor girl. I sympathize with her. We’re dealing with this struggle against Akedime, and it’s exhausting.” The voice belonged to Irra’s, and realizing it came to the left he looked to find that Irra had suddenly changed sides, draping a leg over her knee.
“When did you change sides?!” Riy whispered in shock. Irra showed a cheery grin before narrowing her eyes and letting the grin become a smile.
“These are the moments we ought to cherish the most. However short they are, these breaks in the fighting are the most important.” She remarked quietly, laying her head back and breathing out. “Take this time to realize how important everyone is, and use that to push harder. Right?” Even though it was more of a general statement, Riy found himself nodding, and he looked up at the sky where the trails of light were rising to.
“Yeah.” There wasn’t anything else to say. Irra was right. It was important now to realize how important everyone else was, and what it meant to be fighting for them. The boy Wolflian started to close his own eyes, when the weight on his shoulder disappeared, then reappeared in his lap with a soft thud. His eyes widened, and glancing down he saw that Renne’s head had fallen into his lap instead. Blinking and staring in awe, he was about to reach for her when her soft voice stopped it.
“Nnn… Celeste it’s all your fault. ...didn’t tell me it was a couples thing. You’re… gonna pay…” It appeared the Wolflian was sleep talking, and Riy and Irra shared a look before chuckling softly and returned their respective gazes to the show before them.
Yes, this was the time. To cherish peace, cherish each other. It was now.
Celeste, who happened to be sitting in her room at Fenrir Palace at this time suddenly felt an eerie chill go down her spine and she shivered, grabbing at them with a sudden unease.
“Why do I get the feeling someone’s talking about me?” She took only a moment to look around, before shrugging and returning to her work, unaware of how the rest of the evening would go, and the impending wrath she would receive from her sister later that evening.
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