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Revol chased Vivere up the hills, screaming after him with shallow breaths. “Hey! Ugh... Why’re you...so fast...?” He breathed, clutching tightly onto Vivere’s sleeve to keep him from running.

Vivere stopped, turning around for a few seconds to smile confidently at the redhead. “Because I am.”

Clicking his tongue in an annoying manner, Revol smacked Vivere upside the head. “Cocky, aren’t you?” He replied, shotting him a menacing look. Vivere simply looked at him with an innocent gaze. The redhead couldn’t handle how devious Vivere could be, sighing in defeat. “Let’s just get to the top of the hills already.”

Vivere chuckled. “Whatever you say.”

The duo walked to the top, conversing with one another with wide grins on their faces. Vivere had endlessly teased on how slow the redhead is, earning a few more slaps upside the head in the meantime.

“Why do you always have to run whenever we come up here?” Revol asked, glancing at Vivere as they reached the top. Finding a comfortable place to rest on, the duo fell to the ground, lying with their faces staring at the beautiful clear sky.

Vivere sighed. “I just like to run. You can’t blame me for my hobby,” he replied, frowning.

“Who likes running these days?” The redhead scoffed, wondering when the clear blue sky will be overlapped with puffy clouds that can be shaped into many different objects. Too bad it’s not cloudy today. “Even our classmates at school hate running. Mostly they like to learn about magic and have Ms. Yuri read stories to us.”

“You didn’t mention teachers,” the childhood friend said, smirking a little as he turned to Revol’s side. “Mr. Ferri loves physical education. Isn’t that why he’s the coach?”

Revol rolled his eyes. “No. He’s weird like you!”

“You’re weird for going to school when you hate everything there.”

“But I already know how to shoot fireballs in the air, so I don’t need any magic lessons.” Revol sat on his bosom, looking down at Vivere before clicking his fingers. A small ball of fire circulated around the palm of his hands, water evaporating into the air. It was hitting his rough skin. “Since I already know that I’m a fire user, I don’t need to know anything else.”

Vivere heaved a sigh, eyeing Revol who snapped his fingers again, the fireball disappearing from thin air. He sat up alongside his childhood friend. “If you’re mainly one class, then of course you would love to master it.” He then stopped. “... It doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn anything else other than that one class.”

Revol’s lips curved to a dissatisfied frown. “The only thing I can do is fire magic. Everything else just overwhelms me.”

The bluehead grinned, patting his friend on the back in mock pity. “Too bad then. Since I already know a lot of different spells, I might as well master you’re “shooting fireballs in the air” magic.”

Revol’s face immediately turned a bright red, his cheeks burning as he threw his arms around Vivere. He shoved him down to the grassy ground, wrestling him with an irritated gaze. “Shut up already!” He cried, his knuckles rubbing against Vivere’s head. “You’re making me feel like a peasant!”

“Peasants can’t use magic though...” Vivere said, coughing a little as he felt the redhead throwing him into a deadlock.

Revol clicked his tongue, weakly gripping onto him. “Tsk. It feels like I’m a class closer to them when you say that though.”

The bluehead shrugged, sighing a little in relief as Revol released him from his grip. Coughing for a few moments, Vivere went back from where the conversation took off. “Well, technically we are. We’re not knights or mercenaries, right? We’re just average everyday people in hopes of being ranked higher.”

“Well, that may be your dream, but I wonder if Zunanlio is like that.” Revol cupped his chin, pondering on the thought. “Poor and the rich... Is that the same there?”

Vivere didn’t know the answer. He tried to come up with something that could at least provide a response from Revol, but he didn’t know for sure if Zunanlio works that way.

“Still, don’t you want to become rich?” Vivere asked, making the redhead turn to his direction. “I mean...” He bit his lips, gulping a little. “Your mom’s still stricken with a disease, right?”

Revol’s expression darkened within seconds. He cupped his hands, averting his gaze to the ground. “Don’t mention that. I'm not in the mood.”

“Ah, sorry.” Vivere shuddered, a chill running down his spine. He knew it was wrong to mention such a delicate topic to Revol, but he couldn’t help but become curious to how his friend would drive to the future.

Glancing at Revol’s disheartened expression, Vivere knew he had to change the subject before things got any worse. “Anyways, do you have anyone you like in school yet?”

Revol shook his head, chuckling a bit as he turned to the bluehead. “We’re not happy-in-love angels, Vivere.”

The bluehead frowned. “I’m trying, okay?”

A broad smile appeared on the redhead’s lips. “Haha. I know, I know. Don’t worry about it.” He crossed his arms, confidently staring at Vivere before he spotted a few strange figures in the distance. The strange figures were covered in black clothing, walking alongside the head chief of the village who happily conversed with them. Revol pointed down their direction, gesturing for Vivere to look. “Who’re they?”

Vivere turned to the direction the redhead was pointing to, then squinting his eyes. “Uh... I don't know.”

“Why’re they all dress in black?” Revol asked, gulping a little. “It’s like they’re going to some demon ritual or something...”

“We don’t do that here,” Vivere replied, trying to ease his friend’s nerves. “The chief will burn us if we even say the name of our lord in vain.”

Revol nodded, chuckling a little as he recalled one time where he has been spanked for it. “Yeah...right...”

Their curiosity continue to pester them as they watched the figures speaking to the chief. The head chief didn’t seem to be bothered by their company, smiling happily with them as he continued to laugh as hard as he could before coughing. He followed the figures throughout the village, villagers glancing by their direction in awe and shock. The chief bowed his head down to his citizens, the villagers bowing in return. They then turned to the figures’ side, bowing their heads down to them. Doing the same thing, the figures walked back down the street with the chief.

Revol glanced to Vivere’s side. “Should we go greet them?” He asked, seeing the villagers whispering to one another after bowing their heads down to the black-clothed figures.

“Well, it is pretty rude if we don’t introduce ourselves to the chief’s guests.” Vivere, acknowledging Revol’s words, followed him down the hill and into the street, quickly looking around for the chief and his guests.

Revol surveyed the area, finding the group just ahead in sight. “They’re over there,” he murmured to his childhood friend, pulling him towards them by the arm. “Let’s go.”

Walking down the road, Revol and Vivere were a few meters away from the head chief and figures. The head chief seemed to take notice of them, smiling as he gestured for his guests to view the two kids. He came walking to the children, scratching his bald head as he placed his rough hands on their heads. “You two look as energetic as usual.”

Vivere nodded, laughing a little while the chief petted his head. “Well, we are kids.”

The chief’s smile widened. “That’s quite true.” He turned to the black-clothed figures, urging them to introduce themselves to the two boys.

The strangers glanced to one another, a few moments passing by before a woman with her dark red hair being styled in a bobcut walked to their direction. Her unique hazel eyes were shining in amusement. “Nice to meet you,” she said, bowing her head down with her cherry red lips curving into a smile. “My name is Zuna. How about you young boys?”

Revol and Vivere looked at one another, urging each other to go first. After a few seconds, Revol sighed, frowning as he stepped forth. “My name’s Revol. This guy here is Vivere.” The duo bowed their heads down, politely greeting the black-clothed strangers.

Zuna sweetly grinned at the boys, then giving way for her acquaintance to make his entrance. He had raven hair that he tied in a small ponytail, reaching just below his neck. The man had a golden lever back earring around his left ear, but he had no sort of piercings on his right. The raven frowned as he eyed the duo, then bowing his head in an almost perfectly robotic fashion. It was as though he had known the culture of the village entirely. “My name is Runikrea. It’s nice meeting you two, Revol. Vivere.”

He sounds like he doesn’t even care about us, Revol thought as he eyed the man’s face. He took a long look at Runikrea who was busy murmuring to Zuna. The woman smiled at him, playfully toying with her hair before turning to the kids. “Well,” she said, chuckling a little. “Let’s finish the introductions.”

The kids nodded, looking to find a blond-haired man with small beady brown eyes. “My name is Polino,” he greeted, bowing his head down before letting the last two introduce themselves.

“Olinia’s my name.” A purple-haired woman bowed her head down, flocks of wavy hair flowing down to her back. She then glanced back up, her beautifully fair-skinned face staring at the kids. Revol and Vivere turned to one another, blushing as they eyed her more...mature features.

Finally, a red-haired man with pink eyes bowed his head down after Olinia had went, a sweet smile on his lips as his head moved up to view the kids. The strand of hair that stuck to the middle of his forehead swayed back and forth to the wind. “My name is Roukalgo. It’s a pleasure to meet your acquaintance, young ones.”

Vivere nodded. “The pleasure’s all mine.”

Roukalgo nodded in return, crossing his arms as he eyed Vivere. “You seem quite mature for your age. I suppose you’re twelve, right?”

The bluehead grinned. “Yeah. Turning thirteen in a few months.”

Roukalgo chuckled, then turning to Revol. “How about you?”

“Hmph. I’m gonna turn thirteen after Vivere! Isn’t that great!” Revol cried, confidently smiling as he held his chin high. The bluehead next to him could only cover his mouth, laughing a little in amusement.

“Is that so?” Roukalgo took a glance at Zuna who giggled to herself, pleased by the redhead’s words.

Walking over to the redhead, the dark red-haired woman kneeling down to pet his head with affection in her eyes. “You’re pretty adorable,” she said, her fingers running through Revol’s hair.

Blushing a little in response, the redhead immediately frowned. He crossed his arms, his eyes averting to the side. “Adorable? I’m supposed to be better-looking!”

Zuna’s smile widened. “Though cute, your friend Vivere seems less hot-tempered than you. It's a good thing.”

Revol gasped, turning to Vivere who triumphantly smirked at him. “H-how can he be better than me?” He pouted, puffing his cheeks. “You don’t know anything, lady.”

Vivere crossed his arms, winking at the lady. “Her name’s Zuna, Mr. Hothead.”

The redhead scowled, quickly reaching over to smack Vivere upside the head. Vivere dodged to the side, laughing a little as Revol’s lips twisted in temporary disdain.

“Haha.” The chief chuckled to himself, eyeing the scene unfolding before his eyes. “Well, it’s best we get going now. I still need to talk to these guys privately, boys.”

Zuna, heeding the chief’s words, stood back from her position, walking over to her group. She waved goodbye to the boys, then turning around to walk alongside them. Revol and Vivere could do nothing but stare as they watched the group leaving down the road.

Vivere turned to Revol, chuckling a little. “Mr. Hothead.”

“Oh, shut up,” Revol snapped, lightly shoving his friend’s arm as he rolled his eyes. “That’s only one person out of a million that thinks you’re better than me.”

Vivere scoffed, mocking Revol by rolling his eyes. “Wanna bet that everyone here thinks I’m better than you?”

Revol frowned. “No thanks. I don’t need to waste time on that.”

“You’re just scared.”

“Huh? Am not!”

The duo messed around for a while, teasing and slapping each other before the sun started to set. The skies seen transitioned from a bright blue sky to a beautifully red and yellow color. Villagers slowly walked back into their homes, soon less and less people outside to mess about. Revol and Vivere turned to one another, deciding it was time to leave as they heard a voice call out to them.

“I think my mom’s inviting you to dinner again,” Vivere said, turning to the redhead. “You want to join?”

Revol grinned, crossing his arms. “I don’t mind. I’ll just eat for a while and save the rest for my mom.”

Vivere nodded, walking down the road with Revol alongside him. His mother was patiently waiting for them, waving to them with a sweet smile. Her wavy blue hair was tied in a bun, allowing for her beautiful face to shine in the sunset behind her home. “You certainly played a lot today,” she started.

Vivere ran over to kiss her on the cheek. She kissed him back, embracing him. She looked over to Revol’s side. “Glad to have you for dinner.”

The redhead chuckled, embracing her. “Thank you,” he said, grinning with warmth.

“No problem.” Vivere’s mother stood back from her position, then walking back inside of the cottage. “Hurry up and take off your shoes. Vivere, your sister’s waiting for you.”

“I know, I know.” Vivere nodded, walking into the home as he took off his shoes. Revol followed suit.

The cottage was simple, yet comfortable and gave off a peaceful sort of atmosphere in the air. The cottage had a small dining room in front, the living room just right next door which also led to two wooden doors. The first door had a sign engraved “Mom & Dad” in it, the second and farthest engraved “Vivere & Purri”. They were certainly the doors that led to the family’s bedrooms. The duo walked into the dining hall, the small, rusty kitchen just behind the room.

Vivere’s smile widen as he found his sister and father sitting at the round wooden table that was covered in a velvet cloth, waiting for his presence.

"Vivere!" Running over to embrace the bluehead was his sky blue-haired sister who wore her hair in a ponytail, plaid dress flowing to and fro. Her green eyes were just shining in happiness, noticing Revol. "Yay! Revol's here too!"

Revol nodded. "Of course I am you-" He quickly picked her up by the arms, twirling her in place as she screamed joyfully. "-little pipsqueak!"

"Ahaha! Revol, stop!"

Vivere turned to his father, kneeling down to kiss him on the cheek. His father smiled at his son, scratching his dark green hair. "Your sister really likes Revol, huh?"

The bluehead chuckled, glancing back to Revol who was happily spinning around with his little sister. "As long as Purri likes it."

"Alright!" Revol stopped, putting Purri down to the ground. He dived to the floor, his head woozy. "I've had enough for now." Purri whined. He smiled at the toddler, trying to comfort her from her sadness. "Don't worry. I'll do it again later."

Purri nodded, running back to her dad and jumping into his lap. "Vivere, we're eating chicken noodle soup today!" She said, looking at the bluehead who chuckled.

"Mm!" Revol rubbed his stomach, the aroma of steamy chicken roaming into his nostrils. "I'm so hungry! I can't wait!"

Vivere grinned, scooting over to Revol. "You're always hungry," he said, chuckling as he ruffled his hair. The redhead whined in response, slapping his arm away from him.

"I guess everyone's here." Vivere turned back to find his mother entering into the kitchen, flipping her hair back as she walked over to the pot of freshly cooked chicken noodle soup. She cautiously grabbed hold of the pot, bringing it to the dining table. Everybody's mouths were drooling, immediately taking the bowls from their seat and pouring soup into them.

"Smells good," Vivere's father said, smiling as his wife sat down next to him. He had prepared a bowl for Purri, cautiously giving it to her as she jumped happily. "You always cook the best food."

"Aww, thanks!" Vivere's mother giggled, cupping her hands with a faint pink hue on her cheeks. "You're too nice~"

Vivere's father rolled his eyes playfully, sipping into his bowl. Revol and Vivere glanced to one another, lips curving into smiles as they blew into their meal.


"Thanks for the meal," Revol said to Vivere's mom, bowing his head down in courtesy. He had taken a small sip into his meal before expressing his gratitude. His hazel-colored eyes were looking into the woman's, awaiting for a response.

Vivere gulped his last spoonful of soup, eyeing his mother.

She chuckled, shaking her head. "No need to thank me. You're Vivere's best friend, so you don't need to say anything."

The redhead nodded slowly, averting his gaze. "Yeah, but still-"

"Revol. Don't be such a downer every time you're invited here," the bluehead murmured, slapping Revol on the back. "Can't you just eat in peace for once?"

Revol's eyebrows burrowed into a frown as he rubbed his back. "For once?"

"Stop looking like the end of the world has come."

The young boy's eyes widened, his breathing coming to a stop. He eyed Vivere, his lips curving into disgust. "Do I look that pathetic?" He asked, clenching his fists.

Vivere scoffed. He lightly shoved the redhead to the side. "Yes you do."

Revol took a few seconds to stare at his friend, then sighing as he shoved Vivere back. "Yeah, yeah. Just give me a break."

The bluehead rolled his eyes. "Give me a break, would you?"

"I'm just glad you're not my mom." Revol threw his hands in the air in a surrendering gesture.

"You're just overwhelmed with tons of emotions." Vivere brought Revol closer to him, rubbing his knuckles into his head. "Mr. Hothead."

"You are so not bringing that up," Revol said, moving about to escape from the bluehead's attack.

Purri turned to her parents, tilting her head. "Mr. Hothead?"

Vivere's mother shrugged, watching the duo's antic. "Well, young'ins, isn't it time you let Revol go home? It's already late at night."

Revol and Vivere turned to one another, then looking outside of the window to find a dark sky. "Oh..." was all the redhead was able to say, realizing how late he stayed inside of Vivere's home.

Vivere's father chuckled. "I suppose you're going home? Do you want the rest of the leftover soup?"

Revol smiled, nodding. "Yeah. Thanks."

"Want me to walk you home?" Vivere asked, winking teasingly at the redhead.

Revol scoffed, shaking his head with a playful smack on the back. "What are you? My wife?"

"I think caretaker fits the term better."

The redhead frowned. "Whatever."


"Geez. Why does your house have to be on the other side?" Vivere complained, sighing as he was carrying a container which had the leftover fresh chicken noodle soup inside of it.

Revol rolled his eyes, walking besides the bluehead. "You're the one who wanted to come with me, idiot."

Vivere nodded. "Okay. I said that, but I didn't say I would carry your stuff along the way."

"Aren't you supposed to be my caretaker?" the redhead replied, trying to make Vivere back down from his complaints.

"It was a joke."

"Your jokes are much more horrible than the chief's."

Vivere was just about ready to throw the container to Revol's face before he saw a group of shadows from the corner of his eyes. He turned around, finding the chief speaking to the group of people miles away from where he stood.

"Huh? Aren't they the guys we met a while ago?" the redhead asked, Vivere nodding in response. "How long is it since they first talked to the chief?"

The bluehead shrugged, silently putting the container to the ground. "Don't know."

"Hey." Revol was creeping up a small mischievous grin. "Should we eavesdrop on them for a minute?"

Vivere opened his mouth to protest, but froze in silence. "Well, I don't think it's right..." He had to admit. He was just as curious as Revol was, if not more. "How about your mother?"

Revol shook his head, giving his friend a thumbs-up. "My dad might be a lazy snail, but he does care for his own wife..." He stopped, cupping his chin. "Well, I'm not sure if he cooked anything for dinner though."

"Oh sweet lord Revol-"

"Ssh." Revol frowned, taking a step towards Vivere. He bent down to grab hold of the container, eyeing his childhood friend for a moment as he stood back up. "I'll quickly run home to give this to them, so eavesdrop on them while I'm gone, alright?"

Before Vivere could say anything the redhead had charged down the street, almost a few blocks away from his home. The bluehead heaved a deep breath, scratching his head. Well, he's going to get mad if I don't do what he says.

Vivere cautiously walked towards the group, making sure he isn't making any unnecessary movements. When he was sure he could hear their voices, he tiptoed around the corner and hid behind a small field of sunflowers. He cupped his hands, squeezing them tightly.

Lord save me if Ms. Valkyrie sees me stepping on her sunflowers...

"I have nothing against this," the chief started in his raspy tone of voice. "But, I want to ask you something. Are you completely certain that we'll be attacked?"

"Yes, definitely," replied the woman whom Vivere recalled as Zuna. He could spot her locks of dark red hair in the moonlight. "It might as well come sooner than we want it to."

"Why attack here though?"


Zuna bit into her lips. "I know they have nothing against you nor this village, but if I had to put my finger on it..." Her voice fell flat. "You may as well call this village their starting point. This is an isolated area, right?"

The chief nodded.

"It makes sense, doesn't it?"

Eyes widening, the chief shuddered. "Besides the residents and us, not much people has heard about this village. Do they intend to make their plan as secretive as possible?"

Vivere held his breath, growing pale as he felt the atmosphere of the situation rain down on him.

I'm not supposed to be hearing this. What's this about Liberia? What's happening? Who's "they"?

Zuna crossed her arms. "For now, the plan is for us to act as entertainers. Chief, is this plan going to work?"

The chief cupped his chin, his rough fingers trembling in place. "Are you going to tell them that you're from Zunanlio?"

Vivere's heart thumped loudly into his ears. He couldn't feel his entire body. He couldn't feel himself move even if he did.

Am I...hearing that right?

Before Vivere was able to calm down his nerves, he felt something warm hit against the air near him.

"Mmph?!"

"Vivere, shut up. This is getting good." Hearing the familiar playful and arrogant tone of voice, the bluehead turned his head around. Revol had clamped a hand over Vivere's mouth, grinning at him for a greeting. He eventually released the young boy, letting his attention focus on the conversation at hand.

"H-how did you get here?" Vivere asked, speaking in a high whisper. "When did-"

"Didn't you know that I'm the best at hide and seek?" Revol chuckled quietly at his brag. "But seriously, shut up and listen to them. If you want to ask, yes, I already went home. And I came here when they were talking about Zunanlio. Now shut up."
Vivere sighed silently, deciding to continue listening to the conversation at hand.
"Should we?" Zuna turned to her partners, their heads bobbing in agreement. The woman's lips curved into a small smile. "Well, if it still leads down to the villagers calling our words blasphemous, at least that'll distract them for a while."

The chief crossed his arms. "That's true, but I honestly do not want you guys to trouble yourselves much more than you're needed."

Zuna chuckled. "Like we won't? We'll be fine as long as we're sure of your safety."

The chief smiled. "Don't worry for only my safety nor the village's. Worry about yourselves too."

The woman scoffed, flipping her hair. "Chief, we would never put our safety first when everyone else is in danger."

"Still."

"I would rather die than have everyone around me die. And they don't even know anything about this." Zuna shook her head, putting the palm of her hand over her forehead. "They're just innocent bystanders."

"Vivere," Revol called out, catching the bluehead's attention. "What's happening?"

Vivere shook his head. "I don't know." He had to be honest. He does not know.

"They sound really serious about this though." Revol gulped, his heart beating erratically. "I thought they were joking when I got here..."

"Should we leave?" Vivere turned to the redhead who hesitantly nodded his head.

Before the duo were able to turn back they found themselves bumping into a large man. They fearfully looked up, finding themselves staring onto a familiar raven's threatening glare.

"You two?" Runikrea frowned, kneeling down to meet their gaze. "Tell me the truth. How long were you two here?"

Vivere gulped, trembling a little.

"I was the one who wanted to eavesdrop on you guys," Revol said, standing in front of Vivere in a protective manner. "I forced Vivere to go with me."

Runikrea stared into the redhead's eyes, observing him for a while before turning to Vivere's direction. "Is this true?"

Vivere clenched his fists, bowing his head down. "I'm sorry. I should've persuaded him to stop. I shouldn't have listened to him."

The raven crossed his arms, pondering on the children's words for a while. "Still," he started, calm. "You boys know it isn't right to eavesdrop on people. What we're talking about here is personal."

The boys nodded. I could tell.

Revol gulped. "What's going on?" He asked, his voice becoming nothing more than a meek question.

Runikrea sighed. "It's none of your business. You two wouldn't understand."

"But-"

The raven shushed the redhead, shaking his head. "Please leave before they notice us here. You guys heard nothing, saw nothing. Am I clear?"

Vivere and Revol bobbed their heads up and down.

Runikrea heaved a small breath of air. "Alright. Now please leave." He stood back up from position, giving the pair another glance before walking over to Zuna and the others.

"Runikrea? You're back already?" Zuna tilted her head, observing the man as she crossed her arms. "Did you already look around the village?"

Runikrea frowned. "It doesn't take that long to notice that everybody's already in their homes."

Zuna grinned, skipping over to the raven's side. "Good job!"

The chief eyed the duo with a lazy smile, then turning to Polino who was watching them alongside the others. "So, the plan is to entertain?"

Polino nodded. "Yeah."

Vivere looked to Revol, his heart continuing to resound into his ears nonstop. "Let's get going," he said, shaking the redhead's shoulders. "We're lucky we got off with a warning. The chief would've spanked us if he heard us."

Revol held his breath, averting his gaze to the ground. "Sorry," he murmured, clenching his fists. "I shouldn't have dragged you into this."

The bluehead shook his head. "It's fine. Let's just get going."

"Vivere." He eyed his childhood friend, finding him holding onto the sleeve of his clothes. "Are we going to be alright?"

Vivere bit into his lips. He didn't know. "Just don't think about it. Focus on something else." Turning towards Revol, his lips curved into a cat-like smile. "Like how you got bitten by that stray cat last week."

Revol rolled his eyes. "Oh be quiet." Though he was irritated by what his friend had said, he was thankful for the playful change of topic. He was also thankful for the amount of brighter things Vivere had joked about as they headed down the street.

He was also thankful for the moonlight that had shined down upon them. It was though it was leading them to a bright future.
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