*** A little info, this fic's title is Time Interval. There are lots of definitions of time interval, but the definition of Time Interval for this fic is 'a seemingly endless time interval (waiting)' You'll understand once the end is near~ ***
Chapter 2: A Day Out
The elevator went up, higher and higher. Len couldn't believe the two of them were flying, inside a metal box. Out the window of the elevator, he could see nearly everything. So much had happen, and he'd missed all of them. When they were near to the top floor, Len had a guess, which he then asked to Rin.
"Does this building, apartment… Entirely belongs to you, Rin?" It's taller than anything he'd ever seen, though he'd seen wider buildings. Flashbacks came one by one as Len looked at her, where the light is better, unlike the dark building they were in.
"No, no… me and my parents live in one room, 401. Everyone lives here, in their own rooms." Rin was glad her parents weren't there to see her with Len. It'd be hard to explain why she brought him there. In fact, they were lucky enough to pass the security guard at the front desk of the apartment. Would they even allow someone, dressed with rags? Rin doubted that.
"You live in one room?" Len repeated. Rin knew it was hard to explain everything to him, and started to look for other words to replace what she said.
"Oh, please don't take it that way, Rin. I am… not pointing that you live in a horrible place, the thought that three people living inside one room is hard for me to imagine. Honestly, everything I saw so far, I never thought they'd ever exist." Did she take it as an insult? Len wondered.
"You'll understand when you see." The elevator let out a ring and Rin stepped outside the elevator's door. Len followed right behind her and looked how high up they were in. There were no resemblance; nothing was the same but the room he was in. So many tall buildings at sight, was that really the kingdom he once lived in?
"Here, this is where I live." Rin grabbed the keys from her pocket and unlock the door. She let Len inside, and the first thought that came in to mind was, it was bigger than he thought it was.
"I think I have a change of clothes for you… You feel cold wearing those thin clothes right?" It'd be rude to go and ask questions right away, so Rin thought it'd be better for him to have a change of clothes first.
"And you can warm yourself in the bath. It isn't big, but I think it's enough. Should I prepare the bath?" Rin wondered which box was it in. There were so many boxes. There were labels inside, but even labels couldn't help her determine which box had the right one.
"Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate that you'd do this for me. I will prepare the bath myself. If you could only point out where the bath is?" It was supposed to be him, as the servant. Instead, it was her serving him. That wasn't what he wanted. It's only natural that he couldn't do what Rin does, because Len wasn't familiar with the 'new world'. He kept in mind that he had to question everything so he'd serve Rin better.
"Over there. I'll knock on the door once I've found the clothes." Rin pointed at the plain door, right next to her room. The boxes were scattered around the room, Len tried to walk through the pile of boxes in the carpeted room and went inside the bath.
While Len prepared the bath, Rin tried to remember where it was. She knew her clothes were all… quite girly, and Rin knew Len won't be comfortable knowing that he was wearing girl's clothes. He'd give that fake smile to her, saying that he's okay; Len seemed to be that type of person. Her father's clothes were too big, around twice as Len's size. The only clothes Rin had in mind was a costume.
When there was a school play, in Rin's previous school, Rin played the role as the servant. That costume would fit perfectly on Len. Even if it's a costume, it'd still fit him perfectly. Rin went through the boxes. She remembered as a farewell present, her friends let her keep that costume. Rin could still picture that golden costume in her head.
A few moments of searching later, Rin gave a sigh of relief as she held the golden coat, complete with clean white shirt, and auburn long pants. Rin knocked on the bathroom door and put the clothes on the table, beside the bathroom.
"Is there something I could help you with?" Len asked, the bath wasn't ready yet, it'd take a while to fill the bath with water.
"I've found the clothes." Rin gave her the neatly folded clothes to his arms. Len observed Rin's clothes for a while, wondering how they were so different. He was fine with the clothes Rin gave her; he considered those clothes as 'normal' unlike Rin's.
"Do you mind wearing this? I know it's quite… different. It's just that, I don't have any other clothes other than this." She had to keep in mind to get Len new clothes, somehow. When everything about Len, and that building is clear to her.
"I'd be more than happy to wear this." Len said and gave her a reassuring smile. Rin's phone rang and when she took it out from her coat's pocket, she saw it was from her Mom.
"Excuse me a moment…" Rin took the call while Len stayed exactly where he was.
"Hello, Mom." Rin closed the door to her room and answered the phone.
"Hi dear, have you finished unpacking everything?" At first Rin wanted to tell her mother about what just happened, then she thought it wasn't such a good idea, to make both her parents worried in the middle of their work. It'd be better to just keep quiet, for now.
"I've unpacked mine; do you want me to do the same, for yours?" Rin played with her hair, a habit she couldn't get rid of. Sometimes she doesn't realize that she's twirling her hair.
"There's no need, you probably want to take a tour around town right?" I just did, Rin said in her head. And you can't believe what I've found there. Rin went tout from her room, and saw Len was no longer in the living room. He was probably inside the bathroom, Rin thought.
"I… don't feel like going out today, I don't mind doing it. Um, when are you two going back here?" Len hadn't told her everything, but Rin guessed Len had nowhere else to stay. After all, Len did mention about him wanting to be her servant, as a servant he should be beside her, somewhere close, isn't that right?
"In around a week, we're sorry we couldn't be beside you in your first day of school." Rin doesn't like it when her Mother or Father does that. If they feel guilty, it makes Rin feel guilty as well, for some reason.
"Don't worry; I can take care of myself. I'll make lots of friends in my new school, no need to worry." Rin could hear another person talking to her Mother, and that made her think, that her chat with her Mother is over.
"Sorry, dear… It's time for me to go. I'll call you again tonight, okay?" Rin replied with a simple 'okay' back and put her phone in her pocket. Rin looked at the clock and thought it wasn't a bad time for lunch. She didn't know how long Len had been in that building, but he just might be hungry.
She hung her coat and went to the kitchen. Thanks to 'living alone' she could cook quite well. At first she's a girl who could do nothing, but bit by bit Rin learned to take care of herself well and cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner without anyone's help. She boiled the water, to prepare tea for two. Rin didn't feel extremely hungry; she just wanted to make sure Len would eat.
Five seconds after the water boiled, Rin opened the refrigerator and found nothing there. Of course, they just moved in last night, Rin was lucky enough there's tea and sugar. She prepared the tea and waited until Len finished his bath.
Len came out with the 'costume' Rin gave her, and it suited him perfectly, it wasn't too big and it wasn't too small for him. Rin even had a feeling that the clothes suited him more than itsuited her.
He sat on the chair facing Rin, he knew he had to explain everything to her.
"In a young age, she has to be queen of the country. Because of that, she couldn't rule the kingdom very well, and so Ivels was not at its highest peak." Trying his hardest not to use negative words or adjectives. That was how Len viewed his lovely sister she loved very much after all.
"The villagers were not satisfied, on how she leads the kingdom, and decided to capture the queen, and execute her. But I took her place. We were twins, no one could tell I was disguising myself as her." That made sense to Rin's ears. That 'crime' sounded like something he'd do.
"Execution wasn't enough; they decided to trap me there, for eternity." A new form of torture, Rin thought. She couldn't imagine herself, being alone for such a long time in the dark, forever. Both of them were uncomfortable with the topic, and Rin's hands were sweating. She cleared her throat, and asked a question.
"You didn't rule the kingdom? Only your sister?" It's usually the man who leads a kingdom, Rin thought.
"I was only a servant, she was the queen." A long silence later, Rin looked at the clock. She wasn't brave enough, to look at him in the eyes.
"Ah, I think I should go buy ingredients for tonight's dinner." It might be a little early, but she didn't care. As long as she could escape from that long awkward silence, it's fine by her.
"Please let me help you, so that I could know more about this century, about Ivels, milady!" It was a habit for him to say 'milady' at the end of every sentence. "My apologies, what I mean to say was, Rin." Len quickly corrected himself the second he realized his 'habit' turned one.
"Let's go together, then." Rin was a bit concerned, about Len's clothes. It'd attract people's eyes, that Len was dressed in servant's clothes. Well, there was nothing she could do about it. What Rin did was, to add a new item in her shopping list, Len's clothes.
As expected, everyone who passed them all looked at Len with confusion in their eyes. While Len looked around, so much had changed. Buildings were taller, people seemed wealthier, everything modern. He said goodbye to the trees, shrubs, and rocks and accepted a road filled with vehicles here and there. No carriages, the castle wasn't there, everything is completely different. A bakery shop, a music store, pastry shop at their left. A pet shop, a stationery store, and a small café at their right.
"Are we at the heart of the town, Rin? It looks very… festive here." Something just seemed different about the town. Rin wasn't a native from Ivels, but she could tell something was special about that day.
"I don't know, I just moved in to this town." A few steps later, they found a banner saying 'Ivel's Independence day December 11th'
"So it's their Independence Day yesterday…" Some of the decorations from yesterday's celebration were still there. "I didn't know Ivels have an independence day." They probably made it when he was 'sleeping' Len thought.
"There it is" Rin finally found a place where she could buy clothes, the only thing Rin worried the most was whether the money she had is enough to buy them.
'Maybe one set of clothes is enough for now.' It'd be hard to explain to her parents; once they've come back home. How could she spend so much money in just 3 days? Lying would be the last thing she'd do to her parents.
"Choose any set of clothes you'd like," It'd make her sound greedy if Rin say 'buy the cheap ones'. Even without her directly saying it, Len understood he had to pick the cheapest set of clothes he could find.
Len looked around the store, and so did Rin. A clerk greeted her, her name tag reads 'Lily'.
"Can I help you miss?" She asked with a usual clerk's smile.
"No, it's okay. I'm just here to accompany a friend of mine." Rin said and looked outside the store's window. Even that store had decorations of their independence day.
"Is that boy a friend of yours?" She asked and pointed at Len.
"Yes…" Rin was a bit embarrassed to have such a weird 'friend'. To wear such 'attractive' clothes made Rin regret giving him the clothes in the first place.
"So you two are foreigners?" Rin nodded. Len wasn't a foreigner since he had been there for an extremely long time, but Rin was too lazy to explain everything to her.
"Did you attend yesterday's festival? It's exciting as usual; I love this small town's festivals and the history as well."
"Can you tell me a bit about Ivel's independence day?" The clerk didn't seem busy, what's wrong with continuing the conversation?
"There's not much to tell… I only know that December 11th is the day of execution for the Queen hundreds of years ago." The 'hundreds of years ago' caught Rin's ears.
"Why did the people execute the Queen?" That word reminded Rin so much about Len's story.
"I think it's because she was a terrible Queen. She destroyed a single country just because the man he loves was in love with someone in that country. She takes money from villagers, it's no wonder everyone hates her. After all she was too young to be Queen."
"How old was she?" Rin's instincts were telling her that the 'Queen' was Len's sister.
"If I'm not mistaken she's fourteen years old." All she needed was to ask Len whether that story was true or not. The Queen sounds extremely cruel, a part of Rin thought she deserves to be like that. A part of her thought the Queen needs another chance. Was death really the only option to teach the Queen a lesson?
"Rin?" Len asked. He had a set of clothes just as Rin asked him to. "I've tried them on already, it fits."
"Okay, let's go to the counter." The two went to the counter and Rin prepared the money.
"Should I wear them now, Rin?" Len knew Rin was embarrassed to see him with those odd clothes he was wearing, even though he thought it was 'normal'.
"Yes, I think you should." Rin gave the bag of clothes. Before Len left, Rin couldn't help but ask.
"Len, how old was your sister when she ruled Ivels?"
"Fourteen, why do you ask?" Coincidence was impossible.
"Did she also destroy a country and take money from villagers?" Len didn't expect for Rin to know that. Then he realized what she and the clerk were talking about.
"She did." Len answered shortly. "Please don't view her as a terrible person. She is… was a sweet girl and it wasn't her fault that she ruled the kingdom the wrong way. She was too young to lead such a large kingdom." Rin was impressed. As soon as she heard that, she no longer thinks that the Queen was 'evil'.
"I think you're a really kind brother and she's lucky to have someone like you." Rin changed the topic; she didn't want Len to think she hates her sister.
"Thank you for understanding." Len said and left to change his clothes.
Akuno-P / Mothy said he was inspired by Marie Antoinette for Daughter of Evil. So, for whoever is wondering which century Len comes from, he's from the 1700s. That's when Marie Antoinette lives =D