Crownless: The Fallen World - Chapter 11
It was 11.25 pm when he was done sorting out his supplies, equipment, and tools. He also bought some items in the virtual shop, all good and packed.
The clock turned 11.30 pm when he was notified by his bots that his items were ready to be delivered. A small white panel popped out, asking him about the day he needed them, the location, and lastly, the payment.
Everything was finally sorted out, except the information he needed. There was still a lot of time before Axel’s promised time. He decided to wander around the forest to find anything that interests him.
He never got to pay attention at the time as his eyes wandered around the forest, mesmerized by their abundant greens. Large roots entangled with another tree, sweet scented fruits wifted before his nose, and the rich smell of rain water.
Wait, what? Rain?!
It suddenly dawned on him that the soft patter of rain turned into raging ones. He ran and sheltered under the cottage he found earlier. He undressed himself from his wet shirt then hung it on the vine at the thatched roof. Without a towel, he thought on how can he even dry himself.
It’s not like anyone can see, right?
Then he shook his head to somewhat rid the droplets from his hair and he spun himself like a top. He stopped when he felt dizzy, then a loud notification disturbed the silence but it was a good disturbance since his request was finally delivered.
The file was enclosed as ‘Classified’ and it contained a lot of pages. He messaged Axel a ‘Great job’ and begun to look over the file.
When he finished listing the people he would take, he still heard the harsh drop of the rain. But there was a light feet who walked towards him, he looked where it came from and it revealed Hale who held a big red umbrella.
Aires waved at him then finished what he was doing in his Holowrist. He felt Hale’s presence in front of him, giving him a thick towel and a new pair of dry clothes, again.
The taller male smiled as he accepted the kind gesture. “This is the second time you gave me clean clothes to wear. Thank you.”
“It is, isn’t it?” Hale coyly answered, putting down the umbrella before helping Aires dry his hair. It was a long silence between the two tall males, only shuffling and their breathes were heard alongside the rain.
Hale took the courage to break the silence but Aires beat him to it. “You’re coming with me when I will leave the High Order.”
“What? You’re kidding, right?” Hale stopped the movements of his hands as he looked straight at Aires’ unwavering dark eyes.
“Mhm. I’ll come. How long will we be gone and where?” The smaller male cupped Aires’ face with a towel as he rubbed it gently on the taller’s face.
“5 months at least and years at most. I still don’t know the location but it’s a dangerous mission, I’m sure of it.” Aires observed the reaction of his friend who nodded.
“Give me time to pack. For now, let’s head back.” Hale reached out to hold the umbrella but it was already at the hands of Aires.
“Yeah…” Then they both walked out, sharing one umbrella under the calming melody of the rain.
“You’re not questioning me further?” Aires asked.
“I’ll know it eventually. Besides, I trust you.”
Silence engulfed the two, Aires felt complicated. The person who he was holding the umbrella for was his brother just 5 hours ago or so but now, it was his admirer.
The heck was that! He shook his head to convince himself that the person beside him was still the same Hale he knew since childhood.
However, Hale found the silence as comforting. He’s more determined to do what he wanted to do, his resolve strengthening as they neared the Grafton mansion.
As they stepped onto the porch, Aires closed the umbrella then handed it over to Hale with a smile, “Thank you, dude. You should go and pack. Tomorrow, we’ll leave together to school by 4 am. I still have to gather some people who will come with us, is that okay?”
Hale’s smile faltered but he nodded, leaving Aires alone on the porch. The latter watched Hale walked off with his lips pressed into a thin line. But then, the male backed and walked off in the opposite direction. Aires’ brows furrowed then saw the reason why.
It was Mirabella with her fiancé being lovey-dovey in the hallway. Aires scowled before he went to catch up to Hale.
Mirabella yelled with an enthusiastic wave, “Haley! Sebby! Where were you both earlier?”
Her smile was still the same sunshine that made their day somewhat complete. The small female between these two giants, even her fiancé was smaller than the two, approached the giants attempting to hug the two.
Aires took the hug first then pulled Hale in but he didn’t forget to slightly push Mirabella away. Hale felt that he was only touched on his waist by Mirabella, Aires’ arms around his shoulders, and his arms on Aires’ arms, he was not even touching the small female. He glanced at Aires who had his eyes closed.
A small arc shaped his lips. He was thankful at the taller male for being here as he was still vulnerable even though he had already made up his mind with the actions he will take in the future.
Moreover, the feelings he felt in Mirabella back then was real. He still had to cope up with the sudden change.
Aires let go then slightly pulled Hale away from the small female, “How are you, Mirabella? It’s been many years since we see or talk with each other.”
“It’s 12 years, to be exact, Sebby! And you’ve become so ripped! So tall! Puberty really hit you like a train, huh.” She started to feel Aires’ muscles with huge, doe eyes.
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