The Wheel Of Fortune

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Chapter 13- Equal in power

“How is it? It is not too sweet, right?”

“Hmm, it’s good. The texture is...just right. How did you even make it?” I ask while taking another bite of spiced banana chocolate muffin. I never thought I would live such a life after coming here. Delicious snacks every week since Finlay likes trying out new recipes, a bigger house than my dream house, and money, what more could I ask for?

It has been two weeks since I settled here but before agreeing to join EXH, I never thought I would live such a fine life. In fact, I thought my life might be pretty tough with all the cases and training. But I may have unintentionally hit a jackpot when I agreed to become Ryou’s duo. Since Ryou’s level is already high, he only takes cases that really command his attention otherwise he leaves them to others so we are usually free.

Everything is smiles fall off when Ryou enters the kitchen. He only gives me a glance and turns to the refrigerator. Well, everything is perfect except my training session. I have to get up at 5:30 am every morning and train for 3 hours. Ryou doesn’t let me skip even for one day, he is such a strict teacher when he gets into his teaching mode.

At first, I thought this much training is normal but after asking Elodie about this, I realized Ryou makes me train hard than others, it was then I knew that....maybe my life was not as good as I thought. But I take that back now, that much hardship is alright but for such a big privilege. Though I still don’t like training, I can endure it for food and money.

“Ryouhei, do you want one as well?” Finlay asks while pointing towards the tray filled with muffins.

“I am alright.” Ryou takes out a glass from the cabinet and starts pouring juice for himself.

After eating my breakfast, I quickly grab my bag and phone and make my way to the garage. I unlock the car and get in. I would have also driven the car myself but the problem is I don’t know driving. Ryou has promised to teach me when he gets free but I am still waiting for the day. Unfortunately, I don’t think that day will come soon.

I return to reality when Ryou enters the car. I pass him the keys without looking, keeping my eyes outside the window. After reaching the university, on the way to our departments, I catch sight of the girl who was staring at me on the first day. As we pass her, she keeps on staring at me. I give her a glance and focus back on the conversation. What is her problem? Why does she look at me every time I pass by? I don’t even know her name.

Luis waves at me as I enter the class and calls me over to the saved seat. “Thank you” I place my bag on the floor beside my seat and sit down. As we are preparing for the class, all of a sudden Luis asks me a question.

“ was your Sunday? I went to the movies with my friends. I invited you but you never responded.” Luis asks me.

“Ah, I forgot that. I saw your message but I was busy later on and forgot all about it. Sorry. And my Sunday was...” Memories of my training come in my mind, “Tiring” I say while releasing a sigh. “How was yours? How was the movie?” I ask back.

“Good. I managed to complete my assignment as well.” He answers before a frown replaces his laid-back smile, “...I just remembered, I never asked you about your duo. Who is your duo? And in which Sequence are you? You never talk about it...Are you both not on good terms? I have heard many new duos never work out.”

“I would not say we are not on good terms because we are still trying to get to know each other but my duo is busy during the day so we don’t get time together easily. And I am sure you know him, he is pretty famous. My duo is-”

“Wait, let me guess. Just tell me yes and no. If he is a pretty famous Extander, then I must know him since I follow EXH news. is Ryan?” He looks at me like he is enlightened.

I shake my head. I don’t even know who this ‘Ryan’ is.


I raise my eyebrow. Who is that? “Oh... it’s not him as well. Then...Aasif?”

“I don’t know him. Just let me tell you. it will take a long time if you keep guessing...It’s Ryouhei Fransich.”

He gives me a blank stare. I blink. What is wrong with him? He stares at me for a few seconds before bursting out laughing. He clutches his stomach and leans over the desk. “You are funny...Everybody wants to be his duo but I never expected such a joke from you. I thought you were a serious person and I was kind of scared of you but you can make jokes as well.”

He thumps my back while still laughing for a while before he controls himself enough to settle down. I shake my head as I look over him trying to control his occasional giggles. It’s your choice to believe me or not. I just said what I wanted to say. I shut my mouth tun to the front without a word as soon as the professor enters the classroom.

While we are in the middle of lectures, all of sudden, Luis nudges my arm. I look at him for a quick second and train my eyes back on the board, without actually paying attention to what is written on the board. I glance at the professor and open my mouth, “What?”

He leans in till I can hear his whisper clearly, “Have you seen Prince Ryouhei before in person? Is that the reason why you named him? Or was it just because you saw him on the TV?”

I shoot him an unimpressed him and turn back to front once again. “Believe what you want to believe. I am not saying anything more.”

“Do you know that he is studying at our university? I can take you to show him if he comes to the university the next time if you haven’t seen him yet. You will-”

This time I fully turn to face him, “Do you know him?”

“No, but I have seen him. I can show him from a distance. He is not someone I can approach.”

“Then you do want to meet him?”

He looks at me like he can’t believe what I am saying, “Of course, I want to talk to him for years-”

“Don’t worry, you will not only talk to him but also shake his hand.” I pat his shoulder with a meaningful smile as he blinks at me with an open mouth before I turn back to my previous position.

While we are halfway past the class, there is the sound of the door opening from the front. I try to ignore the sound and keep making notes while reading the book. Soon there is a lot of whispering and noises from the back. When the sounds get louder and louder till I couldn’t concentrate on my book, I raise my gaze and cast a look around. What is happening? Why is everyone whispering?

I follow the gaze of everyone since everyone seems to be looking at the front. As soon as my sight landed on a familiar figure, I jumped a little. Why is he here? Shouldn’t he be in his class or in the library? I open the book vertically so it could cover my face and duck down. I hope he is not here for the person I am thinking about.

“Greetings, your grace. How can I help you? Why are you in my class?” As our professor is bowing to him, Luis calls me out. “Hey, you know that he is Prince Ryouhei, right? The one you were talking about before.”

I ignore him and try to hide behind the book 10 times smaller than me. It’s true I wanted to make Luis meet him but not like this and not this soon. And especially not in front of such a large crowd. I at least need some to gather the courage to socialize with him and bring the topic of Luis, it is too sudden. I hope he is here just for some university work.

I keep my ears open to hear the response of Ryou for why he is here but before, I could listen, Luis spoke at the exact same moment, “He is the Crown Prince. The next-in-line for the throne in our country. Do you know how big of a deal he is? And you use his name so casually.” Annoyance finds itself in me when I couldn’t hear his answer. I glance at Luis, he just had to choose that exact time to open his mouth.

“I admire how powerful he is, he is a leading figure even at such a young age and on the other, then I am-” At last, I couldn’t keep up and turn towards and show him a shooing motion before motioning him to zip his mouth. Damnit, I couldn’t concentrate on what is happening in front because he keeps on talking.

“What? Why are not saying anything?” Luis keeps on asking and I motion him to keep quiet again before looking back in front, watching by peeking from behind my book. What are they talking about with such a serious expression? They are talking for a while. Is it something related to me? Do they know each other?

After a minute, they stop talking and the professor and Ryou turn to face the class. “What are you all doing, is that a way to greet the Crown Prince?” The shouts awaken an immediate reaction. In the next two seconds, everyone stands up and follows their motion, successfully blocking my view to the front.

I stand for a few seconds at most before sitting down with some hesitation. This act catches the attention of many around me. Luis’s eyes widen at my movement. “What are you doing, Nadya?” He hisses while looking towards the front before looking back at me, “They are coming this way, you will be punished if you don’t get up.”

I gulp down all my hesitation and weirdly follow my instinct. I don’t know why am I doing this myself but for some reason I want to do this. “Get up, why are you sitting?” A girl from behind whispers as well.

“Hey, get up, girl.” Another voice from my other side joins. I grip my jeans and straighten when the sounds of footsteps start getting closer. They are really coming my way. My heartbeat loudly thumps against my chest when I realize I might be doing something which may land me in trouble since not paying respect to a royal is considered a sin here.

The sounds of whispers grow when many more students turn to look at me occasionally. “Quite” A pin-drop silence follows. I think the still professor can’t see me sitting, maybe that’s why I am still safe but judging from the voice just now, they are just a few rows away from my row.

“He is coming this way, get up, Nadya. They will be here in 5 seconds.” Luis tries to make me stand once again but I keep sitting at my place. I have a feeling that he spotted me even before when I used a book to cover my face because I did feel someone was looking at me at that time. Now I am sure he is here for me. But for what? Why is he here? What made him come here?

The next second, I let out a silent gasp when Luis sits back down on his seat as well. I turn sharply and look at him with wide eyes. What is he doing? Why did he sit down as well? Before I could say anything, the footstep stops in front of me, by our row. Luis and I freeze at the same time.

Slowly, I raise my head and my eyes meet Ryou’s not even a second later. He looks between Luis and me before settling his eyes on me, raising one eyebrow in question. I can hear his question without him saying a single word, what is going on here?

There is a moment of silence.

“What is going on here? Why are both of you not standing? Can’t you understand me?” Our teacher asks in a somewhat scary voice. I cast him a glance. Oh, I forgot he was here as well. Luis and I exchange glances under watchful eyes on everyone. Luis gulps and starts standing up, “Sir..sir, I..sir.”

“Stop making excuses and stand up.” He is clearly trying to control his voice in front of Ryou. “I am sorry for both of them. You know students are like that they-” Luis is standing by but I keep sitting at my place while watching Ryou.

“It’s alright. But I hope he doesn’t do this outside as well.” Ryou crosses his arms as Luis and Ryou face each other for the first, “You should know that sitting in presence of royalty is considered that you are challenging them since you only sit in front of them when you are equal to them...Actually, I don’t like those old outdated rules but...I don’t like the indication of anyone challenging me as well.” Ryou finishes off without a hint of a smile on his face.

“Sorry, Your Grace, but ‘he’? Shouldn’t it be ‘them’?” Professor questions in confusion.

He turns to the professor, “No, it be ‘he’.” He says before glancing at me.

“Why are you here?” My question quietens down the atmosphere of puzzlement and confusion.

“Till when are you going to keep sitting here, you know I am here for you.” He looks at the teacher, “She is the one I was talking about. I will be taking her then. I hope you don’t have any problem.” I snort, it sounded more like a statement than a question. Is he asking him or telling him?

I swing my bag on my shoulder and stand up. I stop once I am out of the row before turning back to Luis. I grab his arm which makes him snap out of the stunned silence and turn him towards Ryou for a quick introduction. Since he is already here, let’s just get over this.

“Ryou, I want to introduce you to someone. Ryou, this is Luis and Luis, you already know who he is.” I point to both of them before looking at Luis, as I wait for him to extend his handshake. I promised him so I will get him a handshake for sure. My hope shatters when Luis keeps staring at Ryou with disbelief which Ryou returns with a bored look. He must be used to it.

Ryou nods at him and turns to leave when I grab his arm. He stops and looks at my hand on his arm before looking at my face, “Can you please just shake his hand? I promised him.” He presses his lips in a thin line and turns to face Luis. He grabs his hand for a quick shake before turning and leaving but not without telling me to follow him soon.

I wave at Luis and thank my professor and follow him out of the room.

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