Summary : A man found himself in another world. Can he survive and go back to his world?
Rating : T
Disclaimer: I don't have Ar Tonelico series, its characters, anything, duh.
Chapter 28 = Rest
13:00 Etna Inn
The party was gathered the nearest inn. The place was quite a mess after the quake, but still useable. After all, any place to rest will do for the party, and the innkeeper didn't charge them after the party's heroic deed today.
Gilbert was lying on his bed. He was tired after using the eye power, but not feeling sleepy. At his side there was Laura, sitting. She was worried when Gilbert started to collapse, so she decided to look after him for a while.
"Are you feeling better now?" Laura asked.
"Yeah. I already told you to not worry about me. I just need to rest for a while, really. This was nothing compared when I fell from the Grand Bell." Gilbert calmed her down.
"But still…You shouldn't push yourself too hard…" She still looked worried. Gilbert got up and looked into her eyes.
"Hey, I will be fine Laura, okay? I know my limits; I won't push myself too far," Gilbert said. "Besides, if I push myself far beyond my limits, you will save me, right? Like when I was fell from the Grand Bell. I trust you," He added.
"Gilbert…" She was quiet for a moment, and then gave him a nod. Gilbert smiled and went back to lying on his bed.
But speaking of pushing his limits…Gilbert took the vial containing the drug from the support team, and looked it for a while. While recalling the video that Major showed him, he wondered: 'Will this drug turn me into a monster again?'
But then again, the drug was given for emergency purposes only, when he was in grave danger. In the situation when he really needs to use the drug, he didn't care if he was turned into a sadist monster or anything like that, as he really needed to win that battle, or else. He hoped that he wouldn't find himself in such a situation again.
"Gilbert, what are you holding?" Laura was curious about the vial that Gilbert twirled between his fingers.
"Ah? Nothing important, really." Gilbert said. He made a mental note to not talk about the effects of the drug, afraid that Laura would worry about him again. "Speaking of which, where is Croix?
"He, Luca, Lady Cloche, and Jacqli went to the pharmacy for a while."
"Well, I guess I will go see them," Gilbert got up from his bed and took his guns.
"You need to talk to him?"
"Not really. I'm just bored here. Want to follow?"
"Ah, okay!" Laura got up and followed him to the pharmacy.
Gilbert was caught Amarie's attention when he and Laura went downstairs.
"Gilbert! Already feeling a lot better now?" Amarie asked him.
"Yeah, much better than before. " Gilbert replied.
"You are leaving?" Leglius noticed Gilbert bringing his weapons.
"Only to pharmacy. Croix went there, right?"
"You don't need to bring your weapons if you're only going to the pharmacy Gil. Cro doesn't bring his," Cocona said.
"It's okay; I've carried this for long that it's uncomfortable when I don't. Besides, you always bring your weapons everywhere, so why can't I?" Gilbert asked, referring to her hair ornament.
"Well, to be fair her baton doesn't weight much compared to what you have…That looks heavy." Amarie said, looking at the biggest gun.
"This IS heavy." Gilbert said while handing his M107CQ. Amarie felt the weight and looked a bit surprised. "So, is it heavier than your bow-harp thing?"
"It is…You can't make it lighter somehow?"
"I hope I can…Think of this, remember when I fired this gun for the first time?"
"When you broke your shoulder?" Cocona tried to remember. Amarie passed the gun to Leglius. He felt the weight and tried to aim with it.
"Yeah, that. If I make it lighter, imagine what this thing can do to my shoulder even more…" Gilbert said again. "But, then again, it compensate with that monstrous power of this gun."
"I still find it disturbing how easy this gun can cut through Grand Bell vanguard's armor like nothing…" Leglius said, recalling back when Gilbert shot dead a pair of a vanguard and Reyvateil with one firing.
"When?" Cocona asked.
"When the I.P.D's collapsed, you were in the house at that time. Be glad that you didn't see it." Gilbert said. He then looked at Leglius' handling the weapon. It seemed the weight of the gun is not a problem for Leglius, looking at his big body.
"Want to swap weapons for a while?" Gilbert proposed the idea.
"No thanks, I am not a marksman," Leglius said while giving back the weapon to its owner.
"Amarie?" Gilbert looks at her, obviously asking the same question.
"Uh…No, I can't handle such a weapon…Besides, I doubt you can use mine," Amarie turned down the offer.
"What a shame…I want to try playing that harp once…" Gilbert said. "Well, we will go now," He added, before leaving the inn with Laura.
"Hope your date goes well!" Amarie shouted to them with a smirk. They could see laura's face turn red before she vanished along with Gilbert.
As Gilbert went into the pharmacy, he could see that Jacqli was making something with a vial. Croix, Luca, Lady Cloche, and Spica were watching from the other side of the room.
"Hello there." Gilbert greeted them, and noticed the black-haired woman. "What is she doing?"
"Synthesizing an item, as you can see," Spica turned and answered, "She and Croix have a bet going."
"You will see." Spica said with a smile.
After some time, Gilbert could smell something pleasant in the air.
"Is this…Tea?" He asked.
"Yes, it seems it is." Spica said.
Jacqli was looked shocked at the results. After a while, she was facing Croix and bowed down to him.
"Eh…What." Gilbert looks surprised. Croix also surprised too, and quickly stop Jacqli.
"They were betting if the result of her creation would be good or not…It seems Croix won." Spica said while smiling at her friend now. The Reyvateil was cursing the recipe, the ancient people who make the recipe, and the result.
"Woah, this is really something…" Gilbert was amused at Jacqli's reaction. She usually did not show much emotion, but today he was seeing a much more lively side to her.
"Anyway, do you need something?" Spica asked him again.
"Uhm, not really… I want to give this to you, gift for the other day…" Gilbert pass her the drug vial.
"Hm…Where did you get it?" She asked.
"From my friends in the other world. They told me to only use it if I was in danger."
"Wait for a while," Spica said, then did something to the drug using her chemist items.
"Gilbert, what are you doing?" Croix asked. It seemed that Jacqli had finished sulking because she looked to be going back to her old self.
"Giving Spica a drug…" Gilbert explained.
"Is it that important?" He asked again. Gilbert got closer to Croix and lowered his voice.
"This medicine is the reason why I was called a demon back then by Grand Bell's vanguard…I'll tell you later."
"Why so secretive about-" Croix asked, but was cut off by Gilbert's answer.
"I don't want Laura get worried about me…Keep it secret, okay?"
Croix just takes a deep breath and nodded.
"Hey, what you guys talking about?" Luca asked.
Every girl except Spica looking at the two men in the room. Laura looked puzzled.
"This is man's talk, any girl should NOT hear about this. Believe me that you wouldn't want to hear it," Gilbert quickly dodged the question.
"What kind of excuse is that…" Croix muttered in low voice.
"Well, forget I asked then…" Luca looked disappointed. The girls seemed to buy that reason.
After a while, Spica came back, and returned the vial to Gilbert.
"It seems that you have some interesting drug here," she said while giving her usual smile. She then gave Croix a piece of paper.
"Recipe again?" He asked.
"Yes. Maybe we can reproduce the medicine."
"You can reproduce this without our help, right? I mean, I see you are very talented and resourceful…" Gilbert said.
"Where is the fun if I make it alone?" Spica replied, still smiling.
"Alright, we will do it once we have the indigents," Croix said, and then turned around to Gilbert. "We're going back to the inn, you coming?"
"Well, let's go then."
With that, Croix and the others went from the pharmacy.
"Please come again." Spica said as they left.
The party walked back to the inn. The girls could be heard talking to each other, while Gilbert and Croix walked at the front.
"So Croix…" Gilbert takes out his PDA and started the video that Major sent to him. "This will explain much better than I could."
Croix started to watch the video.
"Yes, that's the drug effect. My mind was screwed because of it, " Gilbert said while taking deep breath. "Quite a mess, huh?"
"That drug you give to Spica…" Croix started to ask, but was cut off by the other man.
"My friends said this drug was a better version of the old one that they gave me before, containing all the positive effects and none of the negative ones, but I wasn't sure if what they said was true…"
"Why are you telling me this?" Croix asked.
"Because you asked." Gilbert gives him the simple answer, "And because you are a guy. I can't tell the girls because maybe they will tell Laura accidentally when they talking together. If Leglius asks me what the drug is, I will tell him the same answer I gave you," He added.
"It seems Croix and Gilbert are getting along well recently." Laura started talking
"Although I was curious about that 'man's talk'…" Luca followed.
"Maybe they secretly like each other?" Jacqli said while giving her sly grin.
Laura and Luca looked directly at her.
"Eh? But they both were-" Luca quickly replied.
"Yeah, it's impossible!" Laura agreed.
"They were talking secretly to each other, discussing about something that they don't want the others to know. It's obvious that their relationship is grown. I merely giving out the possibility," Jacqli said, maintaining her smile.
The image ran wild in their minds.
"I…I will ask him later!" Laura said.
"Me…Me too!" Luca said.
Jacqli is still smiling. 'I think I'll mess with them for a while. It's...amusing.'
"So when will you keep this from Laura?" Croix asked.
"As long as I can. I'm aware that she will know eventually, when I use that drug for the second time. When that time comes, I hope it will work like what my friends said. If not…" Gilbert takes a deep breath again.
"If you were careful, you would not have ever used that drug in the first place…" Croix said to him.
"Well, I will be. I will still carry it anyway; we don't know what will happen to us later, when I might need the extra power," Gilbert said.
Not long later, they arrived at the inn.
"Hum, well…I guess I will take a nap for a while. Maybe I should leave my weapons in the inn after all, nothing is happening now…" Gilbert said.
"Why were you carrying all of that anyway? We just walking around the town…" Croix said.
As they both step in, both of their shoulders were tapped. They both looked behind them, at their girlfriends, who were strangely emitting a deathly aura.
"May I talk to you for a while, please?" Luca and Laura both said in the unison.
Croix and Gilbert looked at each other.
"Did something happen?" Gilbert said.
"I don't kno-"Croix started to say before he and Gilbert were pushed upstairs, to each of their rooms.
Jacqli was still smiling, satisfied by her handiwork.
END OF CHAPTER 28