Thanks for all the kind words. No worries about not knowing what to say, I too am not good with situations as such. I have no idea what to say too. Since it was a car accident, it was definitely way too sudden and too surreal. Thanks for understanding that I needed some time off, I had no idea how hard grief had hit me. I'm okay now, my family members are ok now. We're still sad about it but we're ok, no worries :)
Special shout out to NeitherSaneNorInsane, Shahmeeralikhokhar, Akira45, Savage Kill, Starrat, UmiNight Angel Neko, verTori, EmilyAmazing, Seer Klein, Moonstar66, Devlin Dracul, Aoutre, KirikaAndo, Candyluver2121, and Bellajaegar. Thank you for the reviews, kind words and encouragement!
Thanks for the wait!
Chapter 19 The Confession
"Well, this scene seems familiar," Aki muttered to herself, once again sitting opposite of Oga with Furuichi and other demons around them.
"Like what Hilda and Doctor Furcas said, I do have a contract with Gon-sensei, he did cast a spell on me, and he did erase my memories temporarily." She droned before turning her head to the left and stared at Hilda impassively, "Stop trying to direct killing intent at me, it wouldn't work anymore, or…" She smirked, "Do you want to finally fight this out?"
"There's no need," Hilda simply said, retracting her bloodlust instantly, " I was right, then? Prince Belphegor's spell made you run whenever there's any chance of danger."
"Of course, wouldn't want anyone lay their hands on me," Aki chuckled, "But here I am, living with the none other than his own brother, and of all maids, the one who serves him is you, Hildagarde."
Hilda's breath hitched, eyes widened a little.
"I was raised knowing that demon existed, and was trained accordingly by Gon-sensei, so it's no surprise that I know about the demon world, their rulers and people serving them," Aki said in a matter of fact tone, yet a teasing smirk was on her face… that was until the tip of Hilda's umbrella squished Aki's cheek cruelly.
"Don't push it, Shimizudani."
"H-Hai, I'm sorry."
Beside them, Oga and Furuichi sweatdropped. Hilda was still as scary as ever, and not even one with the Fly King Seal is a match for her. Seemingly satisfied, Hilda removed her umbrella, back to her interrogation.
"And the memories. Did he-"
"I'll kill him," Hilda hissed, her eyes flashed, emitting a sudden burst of demonic energy, surprising Oga and Furuichi. Lamia and Furcas on the other hand, simply watched the exchange passively, even sipping tea.
"Ah, stick around. He's bound to show up eventually now the spell was removed, and when he's here, I'll help you."
The two boys simply watched the exchange in confusion, the both of them utterly baffled at the weird camaraderie between the two females in that instant.
"Alright, enough of this!" Oga was the first to burst out, "Explain in words that I can understand?"
Hilda glanced at Oga with an eyebrow before letting out a scoff and directed her attention at Aki again.
"And why did Prince Belphegor form a contract with you in the first place?"
'SHE IGNORED ME?!' Oga bit his tongue, stopping himself from having another outburst. Though, it did not stop the few veins popping out. As irritated as he was, he realised that it must not be an easy thing for Aki.
She did just regain all her lost memories after all.
"I had been a really weak baby and was on the verge of dying. So, my father, he made a deal with him, to save me. According to Gon sensei, the only way for me to survive was for him to form a contract with me, so I can use his powers to live," Aki laughed, but the mirth didn't reach her eyes. "He didn't even care about the fact that I would be pretty much the weakest vessel ever, he just needed someone of influence in the human world."
"… What was the deal?"
"What else would Gon sensei want more than anything else?"
Once again, Oga and Furuichi noticed that there was something exchanged between both females, and the atmosphere slowly turned heavy. Even though Oga and Furuichi had no idea what just transpired, but they knew instinctively that it couldn't be anything good.
As much as Oga was trying to sympathise with Aki, she was still godamn hiding everything from him, even talking in riddles with Hilda. Even though he just wants to scream and just shake the answers out of Aki, somehow, the girls had managed to make it feel inappropriate to speak up. Hilda, as if sensing Oga's frustration, suddenly stood up, taking Baby Beel along with her despite the baby's protest.
"I have everything I need to know," She said simply, "Let's leave them alone, they have much to talk about."
"Them?" Furuichi pipped up, confused, "Who- GEK!" Ignoring Furuichi's whine, Hilda had grabbed the back of Furuichi's collar and dragged him out of the room. The poor boy didn't even resist as he lets out two steams of tears, simply giving in.
Why was it always him that gets left out?
"Ahh, this is so boring and anti-climatic," The bubblegum hair girl grumbled, she too getting up and followed Doctor Furcas out the door. In the span of a minute, everyone was gone, leaving the two teenagers in the room.
Aki grimaced, knowing full well what Hilda had meant. After a few moments of awkward silence, she chanced a peek at Oga, who had a deep scowl on his face.
"So," Aki chuckled, "You want to know everything?"
Oga stared at Aki, taking in her appearance. She seemed like a completely different person. Instead of her usual slouching, this Aki before her sat tall and proud, exuding strength and confidence that had never been there before. Even the time when she was at the Shimizudani household and taking up the role as an Ojou-sama, she was never this… imposing.
Then again, she did mention that she was trained by a demon for years, and had the King Fly seal since birth. In fact, he was pretty sure that even Hilda was actually intimated by her when she'd challenged her to a fight.
However, Oga noticed with a tiny smile that even though she was different, some things still didn't change, like that little twitch on her left eyebrow whenever she was nervous.
It was still Aki.
"Will it make a difference?"
As much as Oga wants to know every little detail, he knew she was not ready. If anything, from the way Aki would fidget so ever slightly every few seconds had already told him that Aki was dying to run away from this conversation.
Aki had always hated confrontations.
"Who knows," Aki shrugged, and Oga noticed that flash of worry across her face, "Maybe."
Oga continued to stare at the girl before him, taking in every tiny detail. 'Ahhh", Oga thought helplessly. In the end, he was still pathetic whenever it comes to Aki.
"Well, then we'll find out about that, wouldn't we?"
Aki snapped her head up at Oga with wide eyes, surprised by his words. She had expected him demanding the truth from her. In fact, as much as she was unwilling to, she knew she owed him that much.
"You... You're not curious?" Aki ventured again, but Oga simply put his hands behind his head and leaned against the bed, stretching his legs out leisurely, a lazy look on his face.
"Well, if you want to tell me now or anytime in the future, I'll listen. If not, meh."
"M-Meh?" Aki repeated in disbelief, and in slight amazement. She knew how much it bothers Oga when she was hiding something from him, yet, he was stepping back, giving her space even thought she knew he was dying to know about her past. Her lips twitched.
"Now I have all my memories back, you do realize that I'm no longer the same Aki as before? You know that, right?"
"Arh? Not the same?" Oga questioned, before letting out a loud scoff, "Shouldn't I be the one to be the judge of that? Baaaaaka."
This time round, Aki had a wide grin on her face, unable to keep the delight in. Oga, same old Oga, kind as always, and was much more thoughtful and compassionate than anyone behind his rough exterior. With just a few simple words, he blew her all insecurities away, accepting her as who she was.
That baka Oga.
"But, I do have something I need to tell you."
"Hm? What?" Aki hummed, feeling strangely drained all of a sudden.
"Er, I… you… I, in regards to you… I…"
Aki frowned, not appreciating Oga's stuttering. It was not like him to stutter, and what's up with him looking away from her and covering half his face with his arm. Was he… blushing? Aki narrowed her eyes, not suspiciously, but because for some reason, there seemed to be two Oga instead of one.
"W-What I'm trying to say is that! I-I have been feeling like this for a while, I… you…"
Aki was rubbing her eyes by now, trying to fight against the wave of dizziness that was hitting her. In fact, she felt that the corners of her visions darkening…
"What I'm saying is…"
"I LIKE YOU!"
"Aki?" Oga opened his previously closed eyes. He'd been shutting them tight in the past few seconds, even though it had felt like an eternity to him. After much debate with himself, he'd finally decided to confess to Aki. It had dragged on too long, and Oga knew he was nearing his limit.
He just wanted Aki.
"I-If you need time to think about it, I'm fine with it," Oga continued, his heart pounding. Aki had her head lowered, being scarily quiet. He was reckless, he knew that, but if he didn't do it know, who knows when will he ever had the courage or the chance to do it without Hilda or Baby Beel being in the same room.
A few angry twitches appeared on Oga's head. Aki's silence was getting ridiculous. Was it that much of a shock to Aki that he liked her? As time passed, his embarrassment slowly turned into annoyance.
Oga sat up, crawling towards Aki and gingerly lifted the fringe that was covering her face. His hand was shaking, a few veins now popped out, joining the angry twitches.
Aki… Aki… She fell asleep!
"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!"
"Is she asleep?"
Oga glanced at the demoness who just spoke, surprised to see her in the living room. He had assumed she'd already retreated into her room after taking Baby Beel.
"How did you know?" Oga eyed her suspiciously, having a hunch.
"That's expected," Hilda nodded, "It takes a toll on the host's body if they recovered too much of their memories in a short time, let alone all 16 years of them. It was already pretty impressive she'd stayed awake for so long."
"AND YOU TELL ME THAT NOW?!"
Oga rubbed the bridge of his nose, feeling really tired all of a sudden. If he had known, he wouldn't have confessed in the first place, and making a fool out of himself.
"Has she told you everything?"
"I didn't ask," Oga huffed, heading to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door to get some water, "She'll tell me when she's ready."
"Oh?" Hilda smirked, "How chivalrous."
Oga who was now gulping down his water, stared at Hilda in annoyance at her mocking.
"And here I thought," Hilda continued, a sadistic glint in her eyes and directed her gaze at Oga's… lower half pointedly, "You wouldn't be able to keep it in by now and attack her."
"PFFFFFFTTTTTT- COUGH COUGH COUGH," Oga had choked on his water in the most unflattering way possible, much to Hilda's amusement.
"W-WHAT?!" Oga burst out, his face bright red, "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING!"
"What a shame," Hilda's smirk widened, revealing that rare mischievous side of her as she watched Oga trying to regain his composure. "To think out of my kindness, I'd provided the both of you some privacy."
The blush on Oga's face didn't lessen, in fact, if anything, it intensified. Unknown the Hilda, he actually did something. After his failed confession, he'd carried Aki onto the bed and tucked her in. He'd then sat next to her, eyes not leaving her face.
It was a huge relief once he knew it was the spell that influenced her to run away, and not because she doesn't return his feelings. For a second, he'd really thought he'd lost her, but here she was, back into his life again. Even though she'd thrown him another curveball with the whole Gon sensei thing, and kind of humiliated him with his sad confession, Oga couldn't care less. As long as Aki was there with him, everything will be fine.
Being caught up in the moment, he'd unconsciously leaned down, and placed a kiss on her forehead-
"You did well."
"W-What?!" Oga squeaked, brought back to reality by Hilda's voice. He did well?! She knew-?
"You didn't ask Shimizudani anything. That would be the best for her for the time being."
Oga secretly let out a relief sigh.
"And suddenly you're now worried about her?" He asked with narrowed eyes, "Weren't you the one that wanted her dead?"
"I understand your suspicion, Oga, but that was before I know the whole story," Hilda explained, face void of emotions as usual, "Now that I do, I have nothing against her. In fact, if anything, we're on the same side now."
"And that side is?"
Hilda looked at Oga, once again amused by his actions again. There Oga was, claiming he would be the gentlemen and do the right thing and wait for Shimizudani, and here he was, trying to bait some clues out of her, trying to protect her in his own way.
They were both idiots.
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