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A note from dotturndot

... i had to reload the page and my entire authors note disappear-- I'm lazy to type it all again..

'Huh?'

Curtis woke up noticing that all the food had been finished. Ruth was currently nomming on a croissant.

'Since when..'

Oh, he fell asleep for a second there.

He noticed Ellis was looking at him. Eyes glistening a little moist.

"Sorry."

Ellis nor Ruth did anything to wake him up because. These episodes of dozing off would come along more frequently during the next few days.

"Where were we again? Right, you had something you wanted to tell me right Ellis?"

Ellis shook her head, retracted her decision instead. She didn't want to burden Curtis. Talking would just make him more tired.

"During another time.." Ellis bounced her gaze away.

Curtis was worried about Ellis too. Fatigue was all there was to his condition, there weren't any serious underlying problems to that.

Curtis then drew an empty box in the air. Ellis and Ruth both talented their head, he was clearly trying to tell them something.

Well, nobody would understand it was if he did it that way…

And it wasn't like Jean's Kitchen was that empty either. The table behind them was occupied by a party of 6 adventurers. An extra table had been pulled over to increase the number of seating spots.

The mana crystals on his neck glowed in a faint light.

{Concealment Barrier}

Ellis had the biggest reaction, but Curtis calmed her down. He wasn't using his innate mana to substitute the energy for the spell. It wouldn't affect him much, just that he would feel tired a lot faster if he used it too much.

Curtis told them the contents which Dio had mentioned. The general information regarding the pillar and the formal document requiring confirmation. He then asks about their opinion. Would they want to quickly wrap up the documents now or do it on another day?

Ruth was listening, still munching on her croissant. Bit by bit, it disappeared into her stomach, most of it. There was a piece stuck to her cheek. Curtis reached over and pinched it with his fingers, placing it down on a plate.

Ruth felt a little embarrassed.

"If possible, I think it's best if we have it settled by today. I don't think it's a good idea to drag it too long. How about we go to the government office after this?"

"No," Ellis admonished.

Ruth shook her head and too voiced her disagreement.

"Fine," Curtis expected so much. In any case, "Then the visit to Whaley's hanger?"

"Ah..." Ellis suddenly remembered, looking reluctant. At the same time, considering how it had already been 2 days, Whaley must have been quite lonely. "A quick visit then."

She agreed in the end.

Their conversation ended with them leaving the restaurant. At their exit, Curtis hinted at Ruth that he would have some time with Ellis. Ruth kinda understood what Curtis meant, remembering the gist contents blurted out by Will when he was eavesdropping on Curtis' conversations with Louise.

Ruth left first, with Ellis finding it unusual.

The cool night air, and dim warm lights that stretched along the broadway. Below the berm was the magnificent yellow spider lily field, now shrouded in darkness. Curtis picked Jean's Kitchen for this specific reason. He had planned to bring Ellis down to the field of yellow spider lilies, then cross the small river to reach that single willow tree that stood in the centre.

"Um, what is this about?" Ellis who had seemingly forgotten about Curtis' condition felt a sense of anticipation.

"You'll understand soon," Curtis finally saw Ruth leave his line of sight. Hopefully, nobody would appear and harass her. Even if they tried, Ruth could always use magic to put a hole in their stomach. Moreover, she was taking the safer route where guards would be on patrol. "If you want to say anything, please do. Now, let's go."

"Go, where.." Curtis tugged Ellis' hand, causing an abrupt slip to her speech. " A…. Aren't you tired?"

"For now, not really."

Pulled by Curtis, Ellis turned her sights to the spider lily field.

They reached the platform where the stairs connected the broadway to the road of flowers below.

'This…'

Ellis looked Curtis, her feet stepping on the edge of the first stair.

"You wanted to say something right?" Curtis halted for a bit, "I think now is a good time to say it," Curtis tried to pull Ellis along, but she resisted.

Curtis felt her hands tighten. Her shoulders were tense, the heart was fleeting and tears slowly condensing in her eyes.

She had troubled Curtis, hasn't she? If only she told him about her worries back at the restaurant. He wouldn't have needed to bring her here, wouldn't he?

"Let's go," Curtis tugged harder. Ellis snapped from her daze, trying to shake away the queasiness in her heart.

Curtis was finally able to pace down the stairs together with Ellis. Reaching the dusty, yellow gravel road, their speed slacked to a slow walk in an ocean of yellow.

Clouds in the sky waving at them in a faint dark purple. Stars dancing across the sky with the moon illuminating the field at a spot slightly above the horizon.

Taking this opportunity, Ellis took a glance at Curtis' face which had been set at an angle that blocked the moon.

'What's he up to..'

Ellis hadn't seen his expression the whole time they ran. Was he angry? Was he sad? Was he worried?

Under the silhouette, his slightly curled, black hair waving in the wind; that stray swirl of hair on top literally bouncing. His deep blue eyes, just like her own, focused on the path upfront. His mature face still reserving slightly cute features, like his nose. He was biting his lips a little.

Ellis blushed and looked away.

Then she looked back, knowing that he would still focus on the road ahead, Ellis felt a little disappointment. Then she leaned towards Curtis.

It was only when Ellis body was brushing against his, did Curtis turn his head to look at her. This whole time, he had been so nervous, he subconsciously drowned his attention elsewhere.

"Curtis, what's your past like?" Ellis asked meekly, not sure if she was asking the correct question.

Curtis didn't expect Ellis to ask about this. He had thought her worries stemmed from his mana exertion or what Louise had said. To ask about this would mean Ellis had been exposed to some truths. Truths that Curtis probably didn't know the answer to himself.

"I'm not sure," gazing at the moon, "I always thought I grew up like any normal person, with my parents, with Ruth, with you, aspiring to become an adventurer," Curtis looked at Ellis, their eyes met. "First I thought that I could have been adopted, and then that— I had another life before adopted."

Ellis dropped her gaze, her shoulder drooped.

"The thing about me being adopted…. It was Ruth who told me about it," though it had yet to be confirmed, it definitely held some weight to it.

'Trauma, memory loss, Will's suspicion sounds plausible..so what did Curtis go through to have such a thing happen? There's also his mana emaciation and incredible talent.'

She felt a light touch interposing her thoughts. Ellis raised her head to noticed Curtis' sorrowful gaze, and that his finger ran across her cheek to pick up the bead of tears about to fall.

She didn't turn away her eyes, with her vision slowly blurring. His deep blue dazzling eyes still looking at her.

"At least I can still be here with you. It doesn't really matter what kind of past I had," Curtis said.

Tears started to stream down her face.

'A past so cruel, it forced you to become a prodigy; a past so cruel it forced you to lose your normal mana function; a past so cruel it forced your memory against you, never to be known again.'

Before she knew it, she had started sobbing.

Curtis held her in his arms.

Right below a tree, the same willow that had been etched inside their memories. It was here where they had confessed their feelings to each other for the first time.

The moon, blossoming in its full radiance. Spider lilies bellowing like golden waves, rippling across the land. Wild sky krills drifting around in the sky, shining like sparkling gems.

Curtis cupped Ellis up by her cheeks.

She was forced to look directly at Curtis.

"Whatever it is, the one I love is you. My past doesn't matter, what matters is making you happy."

Ellis tried to nod.

"I love you."

Curtis' face inched close, Ellis felt blood rush up to her face. Her heartbeat quickened, her chest heaved, she wanted to turn her head away, too late, it was locked in place by Curtis and before she knew it—

His lips melted in hers. So soft, supple, warm.

He released after just a second, a small peck.

Ellis had her eyes wide open with tears, her face was in heat, her hair fell loose, letting it drop dishevelled.

'He... Curtis kissed me..'

However, Curtis felt something that broke.

It was the {Soul String} connection between them.

His head started flaring up.

This was— his first kiss.

'Violation.'

No.

'Violation.'

His heart throbbed his head swirl.

Ellis closed the distance again. Curtis ignored the voice, the pain, the turmoil in his heart. It was a subconscious process, and their lips met again.

Both of them entering a trance-like state. The world around them dissipated. The rush of blood, the light smell of tears, the heat contained in their breaths.

They made a second, deep kiss.

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A note from dotturndot

Darn it... I hate how I'll have to transfer my Grammarly-checked chapters into RayalRoad one by one.. I'm lazy darn... 


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