Alright, here's the chapter I believe some have been waiting for, the girl I have chosen for Alex will finally be confirmed!
Dateline, October 21st, 1204.
The weeks that went by was one massive blur. Following our actions in saving lives and stopping the ILF in the months we've encountered them, we were granted an audience with the emperor himself. But then we met the leaders of the factions that had divided the nation.
The heads of the Four Great Houses and I could see why there would be a lot of tension in the air with them around. The chancellor was present too and whilst most of them praised us for our efforts, they also criticized each other because of the recent crises, worse still, Crossbell is still pushing for independence which would only fill me with concern for my father.
But if there was one good side, it's that as far as everyone involved is concerned, the terrorists actions from the Imperial Liberation Front were no more, even though I still felt that Scarlet and Vulcan would show themselves again someday.
With peace around Erebonia making a comeback, we were able to turn our attention to the school festival and especially our group's concert. Elliot and I worked hard and we decided that our class would perform three songs with me as lead vocalist. I would sing a solo for the first song, then sing a duet with Emma which I was very excited for, and then all of us together on the third song.
To no one's surprise, some of them protested on the third one, but I insisted to them that even if they can't sing quite well, it's the taking part and having fun that counts. However, our new found of peace and good times ahead came at a big price. Due to Angelica's involvement with the iron mine issue, her father presented a statement that forced her to leave the academy, but she asked Rean to look after her orbal bike.
Today was an important day at the academy since the festival was not long to go now.
"Could I have your attention please?" Towa asked as we all stood near the academy front gate. "It's another great day, perfect weather to start bringing all your great festival ideas to life! Some of you have been preparing since last month, and some even longer. I know you're all itching to get started."
She was right...cause I was itching to scratch one on my back.
"So without further ado, I hereby declare the first day of festival preparation has begun. Time to start setting up. We have today and tomorrow, but try not to leave any work until tomorrow night unless you really have to. All right, everyone. Let's do this and try to stay safe out there."
We cheered and the first day of preparing the festival was underway, every class group had something they were working on after all such as setting up the decorations. We were in our classroom and making some final checks on the details of our concert.
"I want to thank you for all the effort you've put in over these last two weeks, everyone." Elliot said.
"Yep, it's all becoming a reality and honestly, I feel happy to be taking the role of vocals." I added.
Rean sighed. "It's been an exhausting two weeks, though."
"You said it...I don't think I realized how much work this would involve." Alisa replied.
"Elliot and Alex are real taskmasters when it comes to music." Fie added.
"Well, we do kinda take music seriously." I shrugged. "The difference is that I get to use my voice as an instrument."
"Given the short time we've had to prepare, I shudder to think what our band would sound like without your's and Elliot's guidance." Laura said.
"Yeah, I'm sure it'll sound great." Gaius added.
Elliot smiled, he felt proud for how far we worked on this and so was I.
"I feel happy you know...I feel like I've finally become close to everyone." I sighed. "Sure, I've had my issues along the way, but I am moving on and growing stronger and I have you all to thank for that. I don't think I would've lasted this far if I didn't have you as my friends. So I'm happy to return the favor by being the lead vocalist."
"You should, though Rean and me should be given credit for the costumes." Crow said.
The girls frowned at him, of course the costumes hadn't been made yet, but they seemed worried.
"Speaking of singing, I'm looking forward to hearing Emma sing." Alisa said.
"Oh yeah, me too! I bet Alex and Emma's duo song will sound amaaaazing!" Millium added excitedly.
"Umm, I'm still nervous for that one." Emma replied, twiddling her fingers a little.
Laura giggled. "I believe that you will do quite well on stage once you sing."
"I'm sure Alex will be under your spell." Fie added with a smirk.
I frowned at her. 'Oh, you little...I'll get you back for that, Fie!'
"Guys, I don't need this pressure right now." Emma was blushing.
Sara entered the classroom. "Hello there, my adorable class!"
"Hey there, Sara." I replied. "What's up?"
"Just wanted to let you know that the principal's given you permission to use the old schoolhouse. You're all free to use it for rehearsal or whatever you need all the way through the end of tomorrow."
Elliot's eyes lit up. "R-really?!"
"Phew, that's a weight off our shoulders." Rean added.
"Good, with that as our location, we can do a lot more with staging." I said. "All that's left is to make some last minute adjustments and start rehearsing before the costumes arrive."
Machias sighed. "Though every time I step through those doors, I'm always reminded of our first day over there."
"Hmph! The first of many deceptions by a certain instructor." Jusis added.
"I'm afraid the statute of limitations has expired on that one." Sara rubbed her head.
"Y'know, a little bird told me two people who might be in this room right now had a rather...intimate experience that day." Crow said.
"Oooh, oooh! Tell me!" Millium responded.
I sighed. "That's old news and it needs to die in a fire."
"Wow, harsh..." Crow laughed nervously.
"Anyways, shall we break it up for today and do some voluntary work with others?"
"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." Rean answered. "We have until early evening when our costumes arrive. Maybe we should help the other classes with decorations."
"True." Laura nodded. "It only seems right to spend today helping out our club members."
"Sounds like you've got a lot on your plates. All I can say is good luck." Sara said. "I'll probably be patrolling the campus, so just let me know if anything happens."
"I'll give you a guys a call when the costumes come in." Crow added. "I really want us to at least try those on today just to make sure they all fit."
With that, the discussion was over and we went our separate ways...well, almost everyone. I waited for everyone to leave until it was just Emma and me.
"Emma, I haven't had a chance to say, but I need to mention a few things that happened to me personally." I said.
"Okay, shall we talk about it at the dorm?" She asked.
"Yeah...also, do you think you can get Celine to join us, she needs to hear this too."
She nodded. "Yeah, I'll see if she's around."
"Thanks, I'll be at the dorm as soon as I can."
We left the classroom and I made my way out of the academy and over to the dormitory. When I got in, I was greeted by Sharon who was about to enter the kitchen.
"Oh, welcome back, Alex." She said. "What brings you here during the day?"
"Just a long over due chat with Emma." I answered. "Also, I never got to around asking this due to Rean inviting us to his home village of Ymir, but were you alright with me mentioning you as an example when I was speaking to Alisa's mother?"
"Of course, I wasn't offended at all. In fact, the way you presented your argument over what is right or wrong on family moments, inspired me to devote my services to the Reinford family even more than before."
'Uh oh...somehow, I felt more sorry for Alisa than Rean would.' I thought. "Oh, well that's good to know that my statement had some benefit. Anyways, you don't need to look out for me, I can handle this one."
"Understood, Alex." Sharon bowed slightly and she went into the kitchen.
I took a seat by the sofas and waited for a while until I heard the entrance door open. In came Emma and Celine, they were about to say something, but I cut them off.
"Sorry, but Sharon's in the kitchen and I don't want her to hear me going crazy." I whispered. "We can talk about this in my room, okay?"
Emma lightly gasped but nodded. "Alright..."
We walked over to my dorm, I opened the door and let them in first I followed and closed the door behind me. This was the first time I had invited anyone to my room and it had to be a pretty girl, score one point for mister Lionheart!
"Alright, we can talk here." I said. "It's been a while, Celine."
"Hmph! I do hope you brought me here for a good reason." Celine replied.
"I have and it's to do with my powers. So let me explain in detail."
"Of course, we're ready to listen." Emma said.
I began telling them about how I was able to call some of my powers without transforming into the demon lord as well as other things that personally affected me back at Roer.
"Hmm, interesting." Celine said. "The fact that you didn't turn into a demon when you used your first level craft brings up a few possible scenarios."
"And what could those be?" I asked.
"It may have something to do with your mindset. It's common for a mortal being with a high altitude of ARCUS such as yourself to tap into thier own power despite it being mixed with another form's power. Perhaps it's the way you have changed your thinking that has made it possible."
"Well yeah, back at Roer, I was thinking a whole lot and stressing out. I was just glad that I could calm down and refocus before anyone on my side got hurt. It was a depressing moment for me too, but Claire came along to cheer me up with words of encouragement. It does seem like it's gonna take more than that to help me get by."
"Alex..." Emma sighed. "...I have to be honest, I am worried about what might happen if you do transform."
"I have my worries about that too." Celine added. "But I fear that we may have run out of time."
"Why's that? Is there a chance of something big about to happen?" I asked.
"Well, I may not know the details, but I did snoop around the old schoolhouse while you and Emma were away last month. Although it was faint, I sense a source of power that I had not encountered before."
"So there is more to it than just the six floors...is there a chance of it happening during the rehearsals our class has planned?"
"Whilst there is still a huge unknown factor deep inside the old schoolhouse, I sense no serious danger in the building right now."
"That's good news." Emma sighed.
"But it may become more apparent very soon."
"How soon are we talking about?" I asked.
"I don't have the exact time frame in my head, so I can't say." Celine frowned at me. "I'm not an encyclopedia for witches you know."
"I wasn't saying you weren't." I rubbed my head. "I guess we just have to be prepared for what'll happen. Also, I still can't get this nagging feeling out of my head."
"Is it about the Imperial Liberation Front?" Emma asked.
I sat down on the bed. "Yeah, I just have this worry that just because thier leader is gone, it doesn't mean they're gonna just give up. Scarlet and Vulcan are still out there and they could very try to resume the plan in C's stead."
"Hmm, that seems like a likely scenario." Celine replied.
"But we haven't heard from either of them since the incident at Roer." Emma added. "And the Empire announced that the Imperial Liberation Front are gone."
"Well, I could be paranoid at the very least, I just don't wanna see us get caught in a trap we never saw coming." I said. "I can't be blamed for that."
Emma smiled and sat beside me. "Of course, it just shows that you truly care for everyone."
"Oh boy..." Celine sighed.
"Huh? What's the matter?" I asked.
"I sense something else happening, so I'm gonna go now."
"Oh, you're leaving?" Emma asked.
"Of course I am. Just focus on what's important right now before you focus on what's going to be important later." Celine turned and walked away. "Oh and don't worry about me, Sharon will most likely offer me milk before letting me out."
"Okay, see you again, Celine."
I went up and opened the door to let her out and closed it again before sitting back down.
"What do you think she meant?" Emma asked.
Somehow, I had a feeling that Celine knew where this was going...and so did I. Sure, it has been seven months since I first met the friends I would grow to like in Class VII. But no matter how much effort I put into helping all of them, no matter how many of my demons I've had to fight if one could pardon that expression, Emma has become the one who sticks in my mind.
"I think it's something personal." I answered. "Something that could only be talked about between two people and I appreciate Celine for doing that. With all that we've worked towards as a group, with how close we've become with our bonds and links combined, I felt that this was the right time for me to mention the one thing I would always save for someone special...for someone that I would grow to know about to be close friends with...and to perhaps fall in love with."
"What do you mean?" She asked.
This was it...this was going to be not only my answer...but my confession...for her.
"Well, there's a lot of things I've kept from the group until I started living here at Thor's. My talent and hobby which I am proud to share with all of you, my true powers of the former demon lord that I have shared to only you, Celine and Instructor Sara. But there is now one more thing that I haven't shared. But this one is for you and you only."
Emma looked at me and I looked back at her...here goes nothing...
"My confession...remember what I said back at Legram? Well that is still true. You are a beautiful girl and you are incredible with the way you use your arts and your magic. Sure, you may have some insecurities on how you look and how you want to be treated by others. But that's what makes you the girl...who I have fallen for."
Emma gasped and blushed a little. "Alex...are you..."
"Yeah...I love you, Emma." I smiled at her. "I may not know everything about you, but the things I do make me feel this way. I don't mind if you're a witch and I don't care if I have demon powers. The way you are and who you are is all that matters to me."
Emma didn't turn away from me...but there, I made the move to tell her first. All I could do now was wait for her response...I braced myself for the worst to happen, the moment when she rejects me because I'm not her type. But she didn't say anything, instead, she moves a little closer to me, not realizing that she was feeling emotional.
"Alex...why?" She asked. "Hic...why me?"
"It's because of what I said. Is there something you disagree with?"
"Why would you confess to me? I'm not as beautiful as Alisa, I'm not as strong as Laura, I'm not as fast on my feet as Fie and I'm not as lively as Millium!" Tears were falling down her cheeks as she was answering. "I've been lying to everyone and keeping my identity as a witch a secret to our friends for so long! I'm scared of what they would think of me, what they would say! So why would you say that I'm otherwise?"
I quickly grabbed her right hand with my left hand and held on to it firmly.
"It's to do with what you just said. I don't need someone who has just one good thing about them. I want to be with someone who is good in a lot of things. There's one other thing about you that you didn't mention. You're very smart and I enjoy being with those who are intelligent. That is what I love about you the most. All of the rest is still you and that's more than enough for me."
I wiped her tears away and I put my hand on her shoulder.
"So please, Emma, please believe in me when I say that no matter what happens and no matter how hard the situations we have to face will be, I will stand by you and I will love you as best as I can."
"It's alright, Emma. You don't have to say it..."
She shook her head. "No...I do want to say it..." She smiled with blushed cheeks. "...I love you too, Alex. If you love me for all the things that make me who I am, then I won't let those things go."
"I'm so happy to hear that Emma." I smiled back. "I've never felt like this before, but it's an amazing feeling. It's like...a moment of happiness I've wanted for so long."
"The same is true for me. There will be times that I may make mistakes, so I want to ask you. Are you really sure that it's me you want to go out with?"
I nodded. "Yes, nothing would make me more happy than to fall in love with you."
She brought out a big smile and nodded back. I then made the bold move, cause I felt that the mood was right. I held her by the arms and moved my head towards hers.
I heard her gasp when I closed the distance and placed my lips onto hers. I was a little nervous, but I was so glad that I didn't miss. I then moved away to see Emma in shock and blushing bright red. She then put her arms around my neck and shoulders.
"We really...kissed?" She asked.
"Yeah, our first kiss." I answered. "And it was so damn beautiful, mind if we share one again?"
She didn't reply, instead she kissed me back and pressed her lips on mine. I put my arms around her waist and we shared a close embrace whilst in the middle of our second kiss. What followed were tiny and gentle kisses and after sharing ten of them in total, we pulled away and gazed into each other's eyes.
"Haha...I think we got a little carried away." I said, blushing.
Emma giggled whilst blushing as well. "It's okay, it's normal to be embarrassed after kissing someone. But I have no regrets over it."
"And neither do I...we should keep this a secret for now. I want us to take our time over this together. We don't need to rush into anything else."
"You're right." She smiled happily at me. "Thank you, Alex. I never knew how much I meant to you until you told me."
"And I know that I mean a lot to you as well."
I took her hand and we stood up before sharing a tight embrace.
"Cause if something does happen, I will always believe that your love for me will bring me back."
She hugged me tight. "Yes, I am willing to believe in that as well."
I looked out at the window to see that it was sunset and we let go.
"Looks like it's gonna be time for rehearsals soon. We should make our way to the old schoolhouse."
"Yes, let's go...together." She held her hand out.
I took her hand and we left my room...as boyfriend and girlfriend...hell yeah!
It was the start of the evening by the time everyone else arrived at the schoolhouse. We guys had to change in the room with elevator whilst the girls changed on the stage in the main hall room. We heard the call from Sharon that it was okay to come back to the hall.
The outfits we had were quite impressive. We were dressed in white with red ties, I however had a black tie and a cloak. Crow said it was because I'm the lead vocalist that I should look the part in being front and center. We went on stage to have a look at the girls's outfits.
"Wow. You all look even better than I was hoping." Rean said.
"Well, well. You all look the part of dashing gentleman yourselves." Alisa said.
"I see that you have a cloak and your tie is different, Alex." Laura added.
"See, what did I tell ya?" Crow smirked. "To be the part, you gotta look the part."
"Yea, and I'm really grateful for it." I replied. "Well, you girls look pretty darn good and-" I paused when I saw Emma's appearance. 'Holy Aidios! She's freaking gorgeous! Damn I made the best choice ever! WOOHOO!'
"Emma's sexy style caught your tongue?" Fie smirked.
Emma sighed. "Fie..."
I shook my head in order to stop gawking at her like an idiot. "Oh umm, well...I was just surprised. It's very rare to see Emma with her hair all straight."
Alisa giggled. "Are you blushing?"
My face went red. "N-n-n-no, I'm totally not!"
"Okay that's enough." Crow said as he stood between us groups. "All right, are you ready to practice the night away?"
"We've only got a day and a half left and that's if you include today. No time to waste." Elliot added. "And that's why none of us are leaving this building until we can do a perfect run-through of our whole set."
"Well, as lead vocalist, guess I'll have my work cut out." I shrugged. "But yeah, practice makes perfect after all."
Sharon giggled. "I'll be sure to bring you all a nourishing dinner later this evening."
"Well, I suppose there's not much more we can do than buckle down and give it our best shot." Gaius said.
Emma sighed and went on a long mumble session, I thought it was adorable and it made me feel more lucky that I confessed to her. Our rehearsals finally began.
Dateline, October 22nd.
The next day that passed by, our three songs were getting strong and when we finished rehearsing, it was the evening already when we had finally done all we could. We had a long overdue moment of refreshments and were now back at the dormitory.
But before we could call it a night, Emma and I decided to let everyone else know. Celine's warning got us worried that we wouldn't be able to tell anyone else if something happened, so we asked them all to meet us on the ground floor.
"Alright, we're all here." Rean said.
"So what is it you want to tell us about?" Machias asked.
Emma and I looked at each other and nodded.
"Well, we're not sure how you're going to respond." Emma answered.
"But as of yesterday, me and Emma..." I held her hand. "...are now in a relationship."
All of them gasped and there was silence, when suddenly...
"Eeeeeeek!" Alisa squealed happily.
"Woooooow! So you're boyfriend and girlfriend! Awesome!" Millium exclaimed.
"That's great news!" Elliot said.
Fie smiled. "About time."
"Oh, you already knew?" I asked.
"Yep, too obvious you had the hots for her...but seriously, I'm happy to hear it."
"Yeah, this is great news." Gaius agreed.
Machias sighed. "Well, there goes my chance."
"Hmph! As if you would spend time on chasing girls." Jusis remarked.
"You take that back!"
"There they go, again." Rean sighed. "But anyways, congratulations to the both of you, Emma and Alex. Whatever hardships you end up facing, you'll have my support."
"I agree with Rean. You will have my utmost support to help you two through the hard times ahead." Laura added.
"You're one lucky guy, you know that?" Crow asked. "But hey, nice going. And such a fine thing too."
The four girls frowned at him.
"She has a name, Crow." Alisa said.
"Sorry, that one slipped out."
"Anyways, thank you everyone." Emma said. "This is my first relationship with a boy, but I have a wonderful feeling that it will be worth the trouble we'll have to go through."
"I haven't had a relationship before either." I agreed. "But when I first met her, there was something about her that just made me want to know so much about her. The next thing I knew, was that I was falling for her and that turned into love. I'm happy to be with the girl I love."
Emma smiled at me as the girls awww'ed in unison.
After that, Emma got hugged by the girls whilst I was being praised by the guys. But eventually, we had to call it a night and so we did. So much happened in two days, but they were the best two days ever and I just couldn't be happier with how it all went.
Roll on the school festival!
There we have it, Alex will be paired up with Emma and I have NO regrets with this final decision. :D
Next time! The bell tolls from the old schoolhouse and a formidable foe lies in wait.