So, here's part seven. It's a bit of angsty, more like serious, but still kinda fluffy. I tried to catch them in character, and I even have the feeling I succeeded.

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Enjoy the chapter!

Any other way

It was dead silent around him. Only the sound of water running and soft breathing could be heard in the stillness of the temple. But it perfectly fit his mood, one could say it almost calmed him. And after what happened minutes ago, he really needed that. Being told by his beloved daughter to „Fuck off" wasn't exactly something that made you smile. So all that Yozak Gurrier-Weller was currently doing was sitting o the fountain in the Shinou temple, face hidden in his hands, the persons he considered his closest friends with him, one sitting next to him, while the other stood in front of him. He wasn't crying. He was merely hiding his face in his hands, though he didn't even know why. Maybe it was out of shame. But why he felt that shame was another question. Several reasons he supposed.

Finally, Shinou asked: „What are you doing here?" Yozak knew it wasn't because he didn't want him there. He was just asking if it really was the best thing to hide there.

Yozak shook his shoulders. „Seeking comfort perhaps?" he mumble into his hands.

„Do you really think you deserve it?" And even though deep down Yozak felt Shinou was right, he finally lifted his face to snap at the blond.

„Well, what was I supposed to do?! She would only shut me further out!"

„And whose fault is that?!" That did it. Yozak felt as if he's been stabbed with a knife, already the second time today. As he came back, both of them welcomed him back, one could say with open arms and now, he was hearing soething like this!

„What a great friend you are, keep rubbing salt into my wounds! I thought you accepted my choice! Don't you understand that I HAD TO leave?!"

„I do understand it. But I never said I approved of it."

„Then tell me what the hell should I have done back then?! Let her live here?! You see how she reacts to Conrad! Do you think it would have been other if I stayed?!"

„Yes." Yozak stoped in mid-speech. Shinou sighed. „In fact it's even you who made her hate him."

„Excuse me?!" The man had a nerve!

„Just think about it. The way she found out. You have been keeping it a secret from her, because you didn't want her to be hurt, or didn't want her hate sir Weller. So when she found out that that was the reason you had, she felt like she had to hate sir Weller when she found it out. She felt obligated to do so, so to say."

„Are you nuts?!"

„Actually he's right." The Great Sage said and Yozak turned to him, mouth agape. „See, it's psychological."

„Psycho-what?" Murata ignored Shinou. „She does it subconsciously."

„You're talking nonsense."

„Really? Well, just imagine it. Imagine yourself in her position and think about these two options: How would you have reacted if you found out the way she did? And how would you have felt towards the husband of your mother, if you knew all along that he wasn't your father? Screamed at him? Beat him? Tolerated him, prehaps?"

For a full minute tehre was silence, Yozaks mouth wide open, realization slowly spreading across his feature. „I'm such an idiot."

„Looks like it finally clicked." Murata shot a dark look at Shinou. That comment was certainly unnecessary.

Yozak put his hands into his head, looking like he was kicking himself really hard. „I'm such a dense idiot."

„Well, there's no helping it. What's done is done." The Great Sage said and Shinou added: „The only question is what are you going to make out of it."

Yozak looked at them, face blank. „She'll kill me. She will, I know it. And Conrad, oh Conrad, what with him? I, Shinou, I love him...I never stoped, I can't stop, not now, not ever. But she hates him and I don't want her to hate him, but she does. And...It still comes down to it: I have to pick."

„See, there's where you are wrong. You only need to pick, because you make yourself. You feel like you have to, so you think it's necessary. It isn't. Nobody makes you pick. And if you show that you don't feel the need to pick, that you simply can have both, then everybody will see it that way too. It's your life, so you decide what you make with it. And once you change your posture, nobody can make you change it back. It's as easy. The same principle as with making your daughter hate Conrad."

The double black smiled in agreement. „You simply need to show them that you love both of them, that loving one, doesn't mean loving the other less. Then Marianna will feel it and she'll be more at ease with it. If you show her that you need to choose somebody, it's natural that she gets the feeling that if you choose Conrad, you love her less. And if you choose her, she'll only think victoriously, that you love her more and nothing will change. She'll only get more and more jealous each time she'll see you two together."

The more Yozak thought about this, the more reasonable it became. Of course she would feel that way if he showed her it was like that, even if it wasn't. ...Did that sound weird? Oh well. But still... „That still doesn't solve the current problem. She won't listen. If I talk to her now, she'll be only more annoyed."

Shinou smirked and Murata smiled. „She'll come around eventually. You only need to wait until she calms down. You know she will. You know her the best after all."

Yozak nodded, feeling more at ease now. He stood up. „Thank you. That was a really helpfull discussion."

„At your service." Murata smirked and Yozak laughed lightly.

„I'm sure...Anyways, I'll head back. The brat i sprobably a royal pain in the ass now. Just like her father, really."

Murata laughed slightly and Shinou smirked and Yozak, with a wink and a wave of the hand, turned and left.

*

„Why did you do it?"

Her eyes fixed to one very interesting spot on the floor, Marianna found she couldn't answer. If it was anybody else, she would have snapped at them and shout until she was hoarse and they deaf. But there was something in the calm voice of her father, that made her fidget and regrett her actions from about 15 minutes ago. Just after she ran away to her room and told Fran (more like shouted) about what happened, she grabbed her by the arm and brought her to the office of her father and then left, probably looking for her mother. He would never hear the end of it, she knew. Though, she serously questioned what was worse: Having Fran dragging your ear out, or her father patiently waiting for an explanation.

„Why?"

Now that was more demanding. She knew, he wanted her to tell, he wanted to hear it. But her tongue felt as if it was glued to the walls of her mouth. But as she heard the tense silence, she finally managed to open her mouth and spoke in a small voice: „They were kissing..."

„You do realize they're married." That wasn't a question, that was a fact. A fact she hated. And the indifferent tone her father used to voice it made her finally snap, even at him.

„So what?! That doesn't mean they have to kiss! It's not obligatory, no?! Why, why can't you two..." suddenly she found she couldn't finish the sentence. The second thing she realized was, what she said. She quickly averted her gaze and felt her fathers eyes on her. She felt unease spread through her. Then she heard a sigh and looked up to see her father m assage the bridge of his nose.

„Why can't we? Well, probably because we don't love eachother."

This time sadness and rage filled her heart. „Then why did you two fuck in the first place!?!!"

Her fathers eyes went wide and a faint blush she didn't fail to notice spread across his face. „I believe those aren't words a young lady should be using."

She looked away in embarassment and again she noted, that if it was her mother, she would've cursed even more violently. „I apologize."

Her father only nodded. „And to answer your question, we felt both neglected and we were close. It brought comfort to us. That's why. But I suggest you don't take that as an example." Marianna just nodded, without looking up. „Though, kissing without talking to you first wasn't exactly the best thing to do." Marianna raised her head in a slight surprise. Their eyes met and her father said: „You two should talk. Seriously. About everything."

Looking away in though, she nodded again. „Yes..."

„The best would be if you talked right now. Do you think that is possible?"

She nodded again.

„Good."

Silence took place between them for a few moments, Marianna not knowing what else to say and her father probably because he finished.

„Then what are you waiting for?"

There was still a gap between them, she realized with a sting in the chest. „I..."

„The sooner this is solved, the sooner we all can relax. And then there'll be more space to do something together. It's been 15 years after all." He could barely finishe the last sentence before slender arms wrapped around him tightly and caught him completely by surprise. He didn't even realize until he was hugging his daughter back a smile slowly spreading across his face. As she began to detach herself, he could let go only because of sheer willpower.

„I'll search for mommy."

„Do that. And come back to tell me how it went!" he had to call after her, becaus eshe already left the room in a very highspirited, bouncy step, almost flying. Staring for a few seconds at the wide open door, he sighed and shook his head. Yes, she was just like her mother. But he wouldn't have it any other way.

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