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A note from dotturndot

Hee........ just so you know, words in, |This odd bracket,| are characters talking in another language. What language? Want a spoiler?------------------------- nah, you,ll get to that part in a few more chapters anyways. By that I mean, 10+ chapters?

The chilly breeze blew by, the moon illuminated the sky, the pale curtains fluttered and a voice could be heard.

|Why are you here.|

Ringing out, Curtis awoke. He sat up, to see a silhouette of someone leaning close to the windowsill. The moonlight leaking in, the air frosty.

"Who are you?" Curtis said in a low voice. He wasn't alarmed or tense for some odd reason. As if he had experienced such a thing before.

"Will. Will Everett," His face shrouded in a dark shadow. His expression— unable to discern, |Prince, why are you here.|

"Huh?" what Curtis heard was an unusual language.

Will narrowed his eyes, repeating his words, this time, in human language, "Prince, why are you here."

"Prince?"

"Your royal highness, Curtis Shun. That's your name, correct?"

"What? My name is Curtis Sheyl. Wait, how do you know my name."

"Interesting. I don't believe you."

Curtis noticed that he had started to raise his voice. Turning his head towards Ellis.

"She won't hear this, I've already prepared a barrier. Nobody else outside can hear this," so Will was the one who taught Louise the concealment spell.

"What do you want."

"Why is Your Highness here. And, are there more of our people sent here? What happened to the experiment?"

"More—our people?"

Will's figure was entirely dark. Although Curtis couldn't make out his face he could see him make an aloof gesture, "Why do I feel like I'm talking to a blockhead? Let me reconfirm one thing. You are not his highness correct?"

"Why would I? I'm just a normal human aren't I?"

"No," His intonation changed. A mysterious devouring aura enveloped the space. Will's sharp gaze locked on Curtis. Observing Curtis' reaction to this spell, Will had confirmed something, "—your not,"

'Not what? Not human? Was it to do with that language Will was taking in earlier?'

"I hope you don't plan to destroy the peace in this world. Remember that."

Will disappeared at the flutter of the curtain.

Only then did Curtis feel a chill go down his spine. Like countless needles had just poked at his soul, nailing it down with fear. "Bloodlust?"

Curtis quickly composed himself and got up from the bed. He tiptoed towards the other bed to check in on Ellis. He stopped a few steps when he noticed that there was an item sitting on the small table just beside her; Ellis was sleeping like usual.

{Light Orb}

Curtis made the light weak so as to not wake Ellis.

"This is?"

A well-folded garment— a dress. And on top of it was a note. From Louise.

"So that person, Will, must have sent this here," Curtis thought maybe this was the secret Ellis was trying to hide.

Walking towards the window, he stared blankly into the dark open sky, at the moon.

'His royal highness? What's up with that?'

|

|

"Curtis?"

"Hm?" Curtis turned his head.

"What do you think?", Ellis swayed her figure around the beautiful pink gown. It wasn't the kind that showed skin but it had its own pearl beauty to it. A tight fit dress that was adorned by lustrous fabric in a criss-cross manner around her neck. Her shoulders were slightly exposed, while her collar bone showed through the translucent fabric.

The was a one-piece silk garment where ribbons were tied around her upper waist. The creases of the dress all converged at one point, the right side of her chest. Delicate ivy and flower patterns were weaves into the silk fabric in gold threads close to the hem.

She had a large silver hair clip adorned with beautiful crystals, holding her hair up to form a swirly bun, or braid—something like that.

Maybe it was because the breakfast in Curtis' stomach had yet to digest, there was a delay in cognitive function. Still standing close to the window, his jaw was left slightly open, and it stayed that way for a while. A wall in his brain hindered the signal, creating some lag.

Since there was no reaction except for the stare, Ellis blushed a little. Louise was right when she got her measurements right. The gown wasn't too tight yet it fitted her perfectly, even accentuating her body curves. Moreover, the dress wasn't the kind that put too much emphasis around the two hills at her chest. Louise made a good pick.

"Erm, Curtis?"

"Sorry." Curtis coughed. "I don't think I can put it into words to describe how beautiful you are."

Ellis blushed at the compliment, at the same time..

'He's still standing near the window. How long since has he been gazing out from there?'

Ellis' smile made Curtis' heart skip a beat. In the gown, her smile felt exactly like the kind made by those nobles or royals. Actually, Ellis tried her best to mimic the gentle smile made by Louise based on her own observation.

"I can't believe you're not a noble. It totally suits you," Curtis walked over. Moving his hand, he swept a stray strand of brown hair up over her ear. "You are really beautiful Ellis."

Squeak. Ellis' face turned beet red.

Curtis chuckled. "It's almost time now. Let's go, Princess."

"Playing princess eh?"

"What? Or should I call you Princess Ellis?"

"Anything would be fine, Prince Curtis."

They both laughed at the randomness they created. After that, they made their way down to the guildhall.

The lodging they stayed in was connected to the guild building. Besides the few emergency exits located at the inn, the only other exit allowed for usage was at the guildhall—the only entrance of the guild was the only exit.

Inevitably, Ellis attracted a lot of attention. A lot, as in not being exaggerated.

It was the morning, there were still many quests that were posted during midnight left unattended. So adventurers would flock in early in to skim through quests and pick those that suited their preferences. This was all done before the guild committee would come and add new quests to the post, which would cause even more buzz. The early bird gets the worm, as they say.

Ellis held the sleeve on Curtis' shirt. Many unassuming gazes landed on her, some friendly, some confused, some lecherous, a bunch of different flavours. And having so many contrasting flavours mixed together would only create something uncomfortable to eat. In Ellis' case, all the attention was hard to bear.

Curtis too noticed the attention Ellis was catching. He moved his hands to hold her's. Awe-inspiring 'ooh' and 'ahhs' could be heard as they continued towards the exit.

"Morning!" Ruth jumped out from the crowd and approached the two, just in time as they stepped into the shine of the morning sun.

"Morning Ruth."

"Morning."

"Didn't the princess say she'd give it to you later? How come you already have it? You look beautiful in that dress Ellis, by the way."

It was at this point in time did Curtis remember that a concealment barrier could be used. Never mind being late anymore, Curtis quickly evoked the spell in hopes that it would at least prevent more unwarranted attention.

Curtis scanned the crowd behind them, looked like no one noticed.

"Hm?"

"You said 'princess', you know that..."

A few guards marched forward at the moment Curtis drawled half his sentence. Looking towards Croquel guild, their sight landed on Ellis. It wasn't a pressing or domineering kind but, one with compassion and curiosity? Ellis stiffed when the guards all turned their head to her all at once.

Speak of the devil.

All gazes on Ellis. From a short distance away, another person could be seen bouncing around ostentatiously. Her lissome dress was similar to the one Ellis wore, though it had a redder, gaudier shade while the hem of the dress was a little shorter. The gold embroidered was replaced with black fringes along the edge, also having an intricate pattern woven into it three-dimensionally. Her black hair was untied, letting it run loose in the wind.

"And we meet again. That dress really suits you," Louise chuckled, "Oh. I forgot my greetings."

"Good to see you again," Curtis probably had something else in mind when he said that.

"Thank you," Ellis let out a wryly smile. Her reddened cheek made her even cuter.

"Princes.. " Ruth stopped mid-way, noticing that she was most probably going to disrespect her goodwill. "Louise, you look gorgeous."

"Now, I'll be taking the beauty away, any objections?" Louise knew the crowd was growing bit by bit. At a point, it would turn into an inescapable flurry if she didn't act fast.

"Not at all," Curtis could understand the hastiness of her greetings, looking at the be-spectacle sight of Ellis one last time, "Go enjoy yourself, you know the time right?"

"I will, thank you, Curtis!" Their hands finally parted when Ellis left for Louise' side, "See you, Ruth!"

"Meet back up at Croquel in the evening!" Curtis added, just in case she forgot.

Swiftly moving, the guards shifted their position to guard the two precious gems and escorted them away. All done in a swift fluid manner without feeling too out of place.

"I guess that's that," Ruth was the first to break the stale mood. "To Tia's place?"

"Let's go," Curtis and Ruth quickly escaped from the frenzy. Nobody chased after them even though there were no doubt many questions the thunderstruck witnesses would want to ask. "Ellis looks really beautiful doesn't she?"

"That I agree," Ruth turned to look behind. Walking out a few dozen meters, the crowd still has yet to disperse. All gobbled together close to the main entrance. "They're still dumbstruck huh?"

"They're probably trying to find us. Let's just hope they forget our faces after this. I didn't expect Louise to do something so bold," Curtis still had the concealment spell active. It was cast as a barrier before but he converted it into single targets using the mesh spell, the one used for {Coat O' Arms}. Currently, there was a small blue mana crystal shining on his necklace.

"True."

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A note from dotturndot

I wonder if this novel of mine is any good though? As the writer of it, I've become numb to the story, so I can't tell if it's a great story or just plain bad...  (When I work on a new part I'd be all fired up, but when I do editing, I'd notice how boring it all is.)


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