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Love

Two worlds were different from one another, yet they existed at the same time.

The world that revolved around technology was Zunanlio.

The world that revolved around magic was Orana.

These two worlds have known about each other's existence for about a few hundred years. It was, however, by mere accident.

"Zunanlio was founded by this strange bard, right?" Vivere asked. He turned to his mother who nodded, combing Vivere's little sister's flocks of silky hair.

His mother chuckled as she finished combing the young girl's hair. The sister giggled cheerfully as she ran out the room to leave outside where her father was. Vivere couldn't help but smile at his sister's antic, then looking at his mother who said, "Well, yes. It was what the legend said."

Vivere nodded. "Mm. I see."


A bard had been traveling all over Orana, singing traditional folk songs and composing poetry in hopes of gaining gold. Though it was time consuming and nearly impossible, the bard continued his travels. Hours for hours did he walked throughout Orana. He walked and walked, but stopped at a certain location. Near the ends of a forest the bard stumbled upon a beautiful lake.

The lake was strangely alluring. It was almost transparent, sparkling with the sun's rays shining down on it. A rainbow was reflected among the lake, the bard stunned by how beautiful the view was. He couldn't do anything but stare in a daze. It was hypnotizing. He had reached his hand towards it, wanting to feel the molecules of water against his rough hands.

That was when it happened. As soon as the bard touched the mystical water he fell into unconsciousness.

Two days later, the bard had woken up inside of a small cavern. Dimly lit with melting wax candles and cold from the temperature, the cavern was spacious and strangely peaceful. The bard can hear his own movements echo into his ears, his own breath resounding from miles away. Though he was confused from the sudden loss of memories he decided to walk into the cavern.

The candlelights continued to light up the bard's path. It was silent except for the bard's movements. Though the bard's heart throbbed in anticipation he wasn't slightly scared. He wrote his feelings into his diary, though rather sloppily because of the lack of light.

"Peaceful." "Anticipated." "Want." "Silent." These were the words he wrote into his tiny diary.

The path came to an end. The bard stopped, surveying his surroundings as he eyed the wall in front of him. Encrypted onto the walls were strange letters that seemed to be understood horizontally.

Confusing. He never knew such languages could be understood horizontally. The bard couldn't decipher the language no matter how hard he tried.

His saddening feelings crushing him, he jotted down his new findings into his diary. The bard decided to use these findings to earn more gold and his expression loosened. Grinning, he proceeded to leave the cavern.

... However, once he stepped outside of the cavern he found himself shocked by his surroundings.



"How can a bard find such an amazing place?" Revol asked, frowning as he eyed Vivere who was lying down on the grassy hill next to him.

Vivere sighed, staring into the clear blue skies. "I guess... Hm, I have no idea. That's just how the legend goes."

"Surely you can just find Zunanlio by magic, right? Surely we can do that!" Revol jumped up from his seat, his eyes glimmering with excitement as he waited impatiently for his childhood friend to answer.

"Well, since we continue to advance our education we were able to do that easily now. Zunanlio's people even made such technology like that." Vivere stopped, then closing his eyes. "That legend happened about four hundred years ago. I don't think there existed any sort of powerful magic back in the day."

Revol scoffed, puffing up his cheeks. "... Does alchemy count?"

The bluehead smiled. "That happened two hundred years ago."
The fiery boy wrinkled his nose in disgust, crossing his arms. He thought about what Vivere said for a while, tapping his foot against the grass. Wind blew through his face as Revol's eyes subtly widened. "Doesn't that dragon count?"

Vivere opened his eyes, slowly eyeing the redhead. "You mean the creator?"

Revol nodded.

"Well..." Vivere bit his lips, pondering on the thought. "That's only a mere theory. The bard's the one who came with it. There's no definite proof that a dragon created these two worlds. It's interesting though, but I can't say what the legend said is a hundred percent accurate. Besides, I'm pretty sure we can't shape-shift into a gigantic dragon."

"Yeah, but..."

Hypnotized by his surroundings, the bard was left whistling in response to the world. The skies were as clear as can be, strange buildings towering it. The buildings were over ten stories tall, machines soaring through the sky.

It looked futuristic than the world the bard lived in. Strange metal machinery with engines driving alongside a long narrow black path, people wearing strange fabric with rather revealing features, it was a world far from the thought the bard could imagine.

Strange, he thought. How strange.

The bard was stunned into silence, but his lips curved into a wide grin. Every second did he jot down notes in his diary. Energetically and excitably was he surveying the world. It was as if he was in a dream, except he wasn't.

Even the person who stood in front of him wasn't a figment of his imagination. She was real. From her brown hair tied in a French braid to her hazel eyes, from her small nose to her cleavage, and from her small hands to her small feet was she real.

The bard was shocked by her sudden appearance, his eyes widening as he almost fell to the ground. The woman, however, simply giggled and cupped her hands.

"Haven't seen you around here."

Her voice was as sweet as can be. Angelic and sweet as candy. The bard could feel his heart beating as his cheeks became colored in pink. He couldn't do anything but answer truthfully in the spur of the moment.

The woman nodded. "Ah, so you're from another world?"

The bard acknowledged her answer with a smile.

"That's cool! Actually, I'm a bit surprised you can even speak in my language if you're from a different world."

The bard's eyes widened subtly. Though he did understand the brunette's words, he found her speaking a bit more stressfully and more quicker than he's used to. However, that wasn't the only thing he was confused over. He frowned, asking the reason as to why she would believe him.

The woman tilted her head. "Well, I just felt like your existence is a bit...out of place here."

Agreeing, the bard glanced at the woman from head to toe. Her clothes were quite...interesting, if he had to say.

"Anyways, it looks like you came from the cavern."

The bard nodded, making the woman gasp.

"S-so I am right?! That's cool! It's like you teleported here!"

The duo laughed together, both interested in one another. It didn't take long for the bard to decide on living alongside the woman who offered him clothes and food. Though the duo seemed happy since the beginning, it took two months till they fell in love and married.


"A love story just doesn't cut it," Revol complained, sighing as he turned to Vivere who watched the clouds pass by.

Vivere rolled his eyes. "Um. Did you even read the whole story at the library?"

Revol grinned, chuckling. "I hate reading!"

"Why do you sound so happy about it?" Vivere asked with a frown, feeling the urge to smack Revol upside the head. However, he decided against it. "Anyways, the legend doesn't stop from there. In fact, it's pretty tragic."

"Really?"


It's been over eight months since the bard and the woman married. They were as happy as can be as a couple, living in their own two-story house. The duo had taught each other many things. From poetry to computer programming, the duo contrasted each other wonderfully.

The bard continued to write and compose music. He decided to publish poetry in this world the woman called Zunanlio. Though they were more than enough people who regarded the man as ecstatic and strange, he was still accepted into society as one of them. He was glad, really. As long as he wasn't considered an outcast towards them as if he were an unknown being from another world, he was fine with his life.

"I heard the neighbors are going to be stargazing tonight."

The bard turned to his wife. The brunette had tied her hair in a bun, whipping up some pancakes from her pan. A small smile crept up the man's lips, commenting on her words.

"Well, if you wanna go there we could," the woman answered. "They probably won't understand you since you speak...well, weirdly. No offense."

The bard chuckled. He then proceeded to question her about how he sounded.

"Since you did came from another world I can't really judge you on it, but my friends always called you rather lazy sounding. Let me see..." The woman finished flipping her pancakes, putting the food on a gigantic white plate. "You sound like someone who pulled an all-nighter... Only, well, without the drunk way of speaking."

The bard raised an eyebrow, frowning. He had always considered his way of speaking normal.

"Never mind that. You'll probably just get mad like last time." The woman giggled, walking over to the bard with the plate of pancakes on her hands. "Let's just eat lunch already."

I was just mad because you told me that I sounded like that "sloth" from the picture book. The man nodded, thanking his wife for the meal.

"Hm..." The woman cupped her chin, pondering on something in her mind. "Do you think that there are more people here who came from your world?"

The bard tilted his head, asking his wife for an elaboration.

She sighed. "It's just, well, you can't be the only one who found that lake, right? I'm pretty there's someone who'll end up here like you did."

The bard nodded. He had to admit, she did have a good point. He might have been the first person from Orana to discover Zunanlio, but he didn't know anything else beyond that. He had never walked back into the cavern, nor had thought about it in the process. He didn't even think about how the lake served as a teleportation device in the first place and how it was created.

He didn't even come into knowledge on his wife's coincidental meeting. Was it fate? Was it just by pure coincidence? Can their meeting be planned by the Gods above the heavens? He didn't know anything.

"Well, it's not that big of a topic anyway," the woman said, interrupting the bard from his train of thought. "I think the bigger topic we have to talk about is how we'll be able to make this stargazing event tonight as perfect as can be for the two of us."

The bard chuckled, the questions that overwhelmed his mind abruptly pushed into a lock. He asked whether or not the woman had some sort of plan in mind. She grinned in response, winking at him.

"It's basically a date for the two of us."


"All I'm getting from this story is that the bard and the woman decided to hang out for a date," Revol murmured, scratching his head as he observed the book Vivere had thrown at him. "And I don't even understand some of these words. Sloth? All-nighter? What is a sloth anyways? Some kind of animal?"

"I suppose a sloth's like a monkey?"

"You know, when the woman said that her husband sounds "lazy" I feel like it also pertains to us." The redhead wrinkled his nose in disgust, frowning. "Doesn't that mean that we sound lazy as well?"

Vivere sighed, holding his forehead. "I hope it doesn't. The bard's wife is someone who we will never know anyway."

Revol rolled his eyes, crossing his arms. "Uh, yeah. She's dead."

Vivere frowned, staring at his childhood friend intensely. "We will never know because she technically is the creator of these worlds."

The redhead chuckled. "Ah, that makes much more sense..." His eyes widened, just realizing what Vivere had said. "Wait, what?"

The bluehead glanced at Revol, biting into his lips as he murmured silently to himself. "Of course you wouldn't know that..." He breathed in a deep breath, snatching the book back from Revol's hands. "I'll read it out loud for you. Now, listen to your teacher and be a good student."

"W-what the heck? O-okay."


Stargazing was the perfect thing to do in a date, or so the married couple thought. Setting up the telescope and placing the blankets to the ground, the duo was just about ready to stargaze alongside their neighbors who had beforehand welcomed them kindly.

It was about nine at night. A chilly night it was, the bard embraced his lover for warmth. She giggled, smiling at him as they sat down on the blankets. The neighbors were heading to their car, getting the rest of their supplies. For the moment, the duo was alone.

"The night sky always looks beautiful," the woman started, her eyes staring at the sky in amazement. "It's much more beautiful when it's clear like this. You can see how beautiful the night really is like that."

The bard grinned, agreeing with her statement wholeheartedly. She glanced at him, chuckling for another moment. "You're agreeing so much with what I say. It makes me so happy that I can just let myself die and turn into a star. You'll catch me when I fall, right? Make a wish when I turn into a shooting star so I can fall happily into your hands."

The man heaved a small sigh, telling his wife to stop with her rather detailed imagery. She silently did as she was told, focusing her eyes onto the sky above her. The bard gently petted her head as she lay herself against his lap, his gaze staring down upon her face.

"... But seriously, the night sky is beautiful."

It certainly is. I can't imagine how things came to be. It looks as though someone is watching my every move. The bard smiled, closing his eyes. Well, I should silently thank them for making me a married man.

He sighed a small breath of air, throwing his arms around his wife who seemed to be pleased with his actions. "One day," the woman started. "I would want to visit your world one day."

The bard nodded his head, telling her that they will visit Orana someday. She widely grinned in response, moving up to peck her husband on the cheek. He chuckled as he felt her lips against his cheek for a moment, then eyeing the woman who winked at him.

"Ah, that's weird. Um, the neighbors are late," the woman commented, turning her head back after a few minutes has passed. "They should've gotten everything by now. It's not that far from here, right?"

The bard acknowledged the brunette's words, turning his head back to find nobody in sight. An uneasy feeling clenched his stomach. Though he didn't know the cause of his unease he knew something was wrong. He reached for his wife's hand, gripping it tightly. His face gradually turned pale as a sudden chill ran down his spine.

"What's wrong?" the brunette asked, eyeing her husband in worry.

He knew something was off. Though when the woman first introduced him to everyone, they laughed at her statement, "He came from another world!" Though they did laugh at first, they gradually became suspicious of the bard when they realize how strange his actions were. His tone of voice was different from theirs', he didn't know what some of their most common words meant, etc. He had wondered if his wife did the right thing by first stating he came from a different world, but he brushed it off after a while.

It's been years since they met. The bard knew how erratic people were when he was around them. They all seemed happy on the outside, but he couldn't help but feel a subtle feeling of suspicion stab through his body. He wanted to put his faith in them, making him disregard whatever doubt he had felt.

"Um... Are you okay?" The brunette tugged at her husband's sleeve, getting his undivided attention. She tilted her head, then sighing before spotting a few figures in the distance. Her lips curved into a smile. "Hey! They're finally back."

The bard shook his head, pulling his wife back from running over to the pair of people. She gasped, almost falling onto her husband's lap as she turned towards his direction. "W-what's wrong? Aren't you gonna say hi to them?" Her lips curved into a frown, but her expression quickly transitioned into shock. "Wha-? It looks like the neighbors brought more people to stargaze with us..."

"Hey, you two!"

The couple glanced at one another for a moment, then looking back at the people charging towards them. The bard's wife stood up from her seat, directing her gaze onto the people closing in.

"What's this about?" She asked, tilting her head. "You could've told us you were bringing more people here."

"... Yeah, sorry about that."

The man couldn't help but feel a chill run down his spine. He looked at the group of people, the neighbors both seeming to look at his wife in a subtle, disgusted expression. The bard could feel eyes staring down upon him. Cold, dull eyes. Eyes full of menace.

They had nothing in hands. No torches, weapons, or any sort of the like akin to a witch hunt. The bard shook his head. No, it didn't matter. He wasn't in the world he used to know. Witch hunts don't exist in Zunanlio. There were no guillotines or users of magic in this world.

Still, those cold eyes were full of malice. I knew it. They never trusted me in the first place.

The bard stood up from his seat, walking over to the group of people. His wife was stunned by his action, her heart throbbing in fear of what was about to come. "What are you doing?" She asked, her voice no lower than a whisper. "What do you think you're doing?"

She tried to take a step towards her husband only to be stopped by the husband of the two neighboring couple. He held his hand out, blocking her way from approaching the bard who talked quietly with the others.

"W... What? Is this some kind of joke?" Her voice trembled as she spoke. Sweat was trickling from her forehead, reaching down to her chin.

The neighbor shook his head, gulping. "Do you think this is a joke?" He started, tensed.

"Of course I do," the brunette replied, her eyebrows burrowing into a frown. "What the hell do you guys think you're doing to my husband?"

"Husband?" The man snorted. "Ha! That son of a bitch? He's a monster who came from another world. He can't live here! He should go die where he came from!"

The brunette's eyes widened. She lowered her head, her hands clenching into fists. "So... That's what this is about?" Her voice was low and deep. Her body was trembling. "He hasn't even done anything."

"That's what you think," a woman cried from the distance. "He's probably been trying to manipulate you."

The woman clicked her tongue, slapping the man's hand away from her view. As soon as he cursed in pain the woman walked down into the group, yelling at them in the process. "Why would he? We've been living together for years! He had a lot of chances to backstab me if he wanted to!"

"Hey!"

"S-stop her!"

"Get out of my way!" The woman shoved through the crowd, walking towards her husband who eyed her in shock. "We're staying with each other! If one of us dies, then it's the other's job to die along with the killers!"

"She's insane!"

"Just stop her!"

The woman smiled as she stepped towards the bard, reaching her hand out to him. The bard couldn't help but stare at her, slowly grabbing ahold of her hand as the woman pulled him closer to her. She threw him in an embrace, tightly wrapping her arms around him.

"If one dies, then it's the other's job to kill those who did it and die to return back to us. If I die and kill everyone else, then, you'll kill yourself," the woman repeated, eyes staring deeply into her husband's. "If I die, you'll kill everyone here and come back to me, right?"

The bard smiled, telling her that such a plan was insanely barbaric. He, however, nodded his head.

The woman giggled, then releasing her arms around him in order to view the disgusted crowd. "I trusted you. I thought you all had the common sense to trust a man that I love."

"He's not a man," a voice cried out. "He's an alien!"

"Doesn't that mean I'm an alien as well?"

The crowd's voices grew louder in response to her words. Even the bard himself seemed confused on her question. The woman grinned when she realized their confused expressions. "If I wreck this world into havoc, no one from Orana will save you. The passageway to get out of here will be blocked." She then coughed a small laugh. "Well, then again, you never found the portal to Orana, right?"

"What?"

The crowd glanced at one another, irritation overwhelming their minds. Though they may or may not know each other too well they knew what the other was thinking- to rid of the bard's wife.

"I knew it. He brainwashed you!"

"Monster!"

"Don't worry! We'll rid of this beast!"

Crowding around the woman, she was left in shock as they locked her in place. The people close to the bard held knives in their hands, readying to slice the man who can only eye his wife in distress.

"Stop!" the woman screamed, wrath starting to fill her mind. "Don't kill him!"

"Don't worry! You'll be freed from this monster's control!"

It was as if time had slowed down.

The bard closed his eyes, sweat trickling from his forehead and down to his chin. He waited fearfully for his life to come to an end. The crowd was anticipating his death, chanting for bloodshed. His wife was screaming hysterically.

Silence.

Am I... Am I dead yet?

...

I'm...still breathing?

He slowly opened his eyes, then finding himself waking up in a sky colored in red. The silence that was brought onto the world made sense as the bard surveyed his surroundings. Throughout the land were a pile of corpses. The bard's eyes widened, an acidic taste reaching through his esophagus. He held back the vomit that overwhelmed him, tears falling from his eyes as he realized the bodies of the corpses. They were the people who had accused him as an alien from moments ago.

Where's...where's my wife?

The bard looked up at the red bloody sky, then finding himself at the mercy of a golden beast akin to a dragon in various mythological stories. Golden scales with silvery snake eyes staring down upon the bard, he was left with nothing but despair.

Let my life end.

This is...

The bard closed his eyes for the second time, waiting for the dragon to decapitate his head with its claws. However, such a thing didn't happen. The dragon walked over to the bard, putting its right claw gently onto his head. The man opened his eyes, finding the look in the dragon's snake pupils to be...soothing.

"I killed them all," the dragon started, its rather feminine voice echoing into the bard's head. "They don't deserve the petty lives they lived if they suspect a simple Oranian like you."

Um... Are you-

"Yes. I'm your wife." The bard looked up at the dragon, finding the corners of her mouth creeping into a smile. "... So, how do I put this? I'm the creator of these two worlds, to say the most."

The bard's eyes widened. His wife, however, chuckled. "I'm sorry. I couldn't say anything or I'll be spirited away." The scales on the dragon gradually began disappearing, fading away into the red sky. "This is basically my sacrifice. I can't allow you to die like that."

Then how about you? You said that if I die, you die as well! Doesn't that imply for me as well?

The dragon shook her head. "It's not as though I'll be completely dead. I'm not allowed to stand foot on the human worlds, so I have to be spirited away back into the heavens. I'm selfish, but..."

She then stopped, her claw stroking the bard's strands of hair. "I want you to find a way to either reach the heavens without killing yourself, or bring me back here. I want... I want to be with you forever, but..." She then glanced back at herself, finding half of her body disappearing from view. "We can't."

Selfish of you? Idiot! I'll do whatever it takes to bring you back!

"A...are you insane? I didn't expect you to agree so easily," the dragon said, chuckling as her neck started to disappear. "Well, I guess this just proves how much we actually love each other!"

Don't worry. No matter what, I'll bring you that. I promise you, even if it costs my own life.

"Didn't I tell you to not die unless I die?" the dragon asked, laughing. Her chin started to fade away into the sky, her path to being spirited away coming closer to an end. "However, it does make me feel happy... So much that it makes me...cry..."

The bard shook his head, quickly pressing his lips against his wife's cold ones. A passionate, yet rough and tragic kiss. Her lips started to disappear, the man kissing nothing but the air seconds in. She's disappearing.

The bard cried out for his wife, trying to reach his hand out to her as she faded away. Nothing was left of her. Nothing.


"... And from this day onward, it is said that the man is still desperately searching for his wife."
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