Author's notes: And after such a long time, the Thirteenth Chapter of The God's Clown and The Prince of Sky is update! First of all, I'm really sorry for the extremely late update. I'm having writer block and I telling you, it's much more difficult this time to write! I'm completely stuck! Please forgive me if you find some parts of this chapter boring. T_T;; Also, the exam had been finished (thank God..!) and I have to do presentation in here and there, so I haven't had any time to write this story. It's very, very tired! I'm nearly frustrated because of these lectures. It's kind of expected when you're in your final year but really, it's so scary… O Δ O III Thank God I'm in semester break and I can focus on finishing some chapters, including this one of course.
Not to mention I'm still doing fasting in the Islam fasting month known as Ramadan so I ceased my typing at my notebook for a whole month. It's just one more day anyway. Uh, okay, not really ceased it since many interesting fanfics updated in this month and I read all of them first. Yeah, that's bad of me. Anyway, for those who are also doing fasting, happy Eid al-Fitr 1434 H. May all of us get infinite goodness in this blessed and victorious month. Also, I'm having interest at 07-Ghost and now write a fanfic about it, and my big brother also had just recovered form his sick. As a family it's important for us to help him in his way on recovery. It will take a long time for him to recovering but worry not since he's a stubborn person to be defeated by such sickness. WAnd for the FF Versus XIII…
What the h*ck!? Since when it changed name into Final Fantasy XV…?! Not only they were let out more characters, it story itself became much complicated from it seems! And the names! And the names…! Curse you, Enix! Now I have to change Noctis's father name for the sake of the story, not to mention there're one more people added into Noctis' group and I have to edit few of previous chapters! Well, the game looked super awesome but…Meh, never mind. I just hope they will release the game soon. They have made the game too long already.
By the way, thanks to everyone because up to this month, there're more than 2,000 views for this story. You guys are rock…! Thank you for reading and reviewing this story. Please don't hesitate to review more and give some critics. I give my thanks to those who also favorite and follow the story as well. I can't get here without your support in which why I'm very grateful! And it's the time for reply all the previous reviews, everyone!
For SnowShiro-Kitsune14: Thank you for your understanding, it's indeed hard but we managed to pass the difficult time. I myself was quite surprise that I can type such a long chapter. I only intended it around 10,000 words perhaps even less due to the writer block but it became…17,000 words? I guess I'm really crazy about writing story. ^^;;; Glad you happy for the previous chapter and let me hear your comment when you've heard the song, okay.
For Inori-Scorpion: Many thanks to you. :D Glad you like this EllenxNoctis pairing, honestly I'm not really sure if people like this pairing but it turns out that most of, if not a lot of readers like them, very if I might add. Yup, not many readers know about Noctis since the game hasn't come out yet. Stupid Square Enix, just hurry up and finish that game already, will you!? It's already 10 years and what, still not coming yet!? (Ranted furiously toward the sunset sky with dramatic pose) Hope you continue to ship this pairing.
For Marshal Belinsky: I see you've changed your name id and your image. Must say it's so cool! Thank you so much for your review and support! Good day/ Night! XD
For evelvet: Thank you very much for your support. It really helped me a lot. ^.^ Even if it's very late I hope you're had a great Easter. Yes, the battle scene was pretty difficult, even though I followed the manga scenes, it was still difficult because I have to think some battles moves. TT^TT;; Oh yes, yesss, Noctis doesn't know what about to hit him in the near future. ＞W＜ Great idea about the special chapter! Perhaps it can work out! Once again, thank you very much. ^W^
Disclaimer: …I don't own both DGM and Final Fantasy Versus XIII, now renamed as Final Fantasy XV. They belong to Katsura Hoshino and Enix.
Warning: This fic has gender bender element, some of the spoilers, the possibility of AU, few swearings, and a lot, lot of bad grammars, due to the reason I not have a beta. Perhaps I really should starting to look at one… －_－;;;
(06 February 2015) = Hey Guys. I just re-read this chapter and then I realized I've made a very stupid mistake. Lucis Kingdom isn't located in a lake at all, it was Accordo Kingdom which located in a great lake and has lots waterfalls. Since I can't change this completely, I still use the lake and change the waterfalls onto rivers. I hope you will forgive this mistake. ^_^; Please enjoy.
The God's Clown and the Prince of the Sky
Eight days have passed since the Phantom Thief G's fiasco and orphanage's battle. It had been a troublesome and tiring mission since this mission became one of the hardest battle Ellen, Kanda, and Marie went through. There were casualties such as orphanage's destruction, and heavy injuries but thank goodness somehow they managed to fix them. Don't ever mention from the precious historical value objects Phantom Thief G had stolen, it became quite despair for Komui Lee. They had gained another new Exorcist and new friend who was none other than Timothy Hearst a.k.a. the true doer behind the said phantom thief using his Innocence to perform his job. Poor for him however, almost at the same time the Black Order also had Emilia as his tutor. Ellen also become getting busy with all the sparring, studying, and making report of the latest mission. To make it simple, for Ellen Walker, things began to running normally once more. Well, not most of it. She still has a thing to do and it has something to do with the young man known as Noctis Caelo. And it was…
"Ellen! Hi there!" A familiar feminine voice called Ellen as she strolled through the corridor. When she rotated her body, her smile bloomed upon seeing Lenalee and Miranda.
"Lenalee! Miranda! Good evening." The silver eyed Exorcist greeted warmly.
"G-Good evening, Ellen…" Miranda greeted back nervously.
The green haired young woman giggled and the wavy haired woman had to smile when the golden colored golem opened its mouth widely as if it gave its own greeting.
"Hello to you too, Tim." Lenalee patted the golem with affection. The golem was enjoying the patting session. "Have you just back from the dinner?" The green haired young woman asked in the middle of patting.
Ellen gave a short yet friendly nod. "U-huh. Where have you two been? I was looking for you!"
"We have just finished a bunch of reports and we're about to going to have a dinner now." Lenalee tested her numb and aching shoulders. How tired it was! God, please help the, they better didn't have more paperwork than they can handle. She had been horrified when she found out how many paperwork they had to work at. Lenalee wondered if the Order actually wanted to slave driver their own members.
"You should hurry then. There a lot of people in cafeteria and somehow, they seemed more hungry than usual…" The snow white haired Exorcist told them.
The green haired girl laughed nonchalantly.
"Well, I guess we have to…" Lenalee's stopped at her mid sentence when her purple eyes spotted the basket which Ellen was holding. "By the way, what's with that huge basket you're carrying?"
"Food." Ellen replied tersely.
Lenalle blinked rapidly at the odd answer. "I thought you had enough at the cafeteria…"
"This is for Noctis." Ellen sighed exasperatedly. "He missed his dinner again, so I decide to bring him some food and check on him."
It was the second time he gone without dinner. It happened not too long after the young man freed from the temporary prohibition. Ellen noticed how he would bring books from Lavi's room direction and locked himself inside his own room. Sometimes there was a day when he wouldn't go out from his room and had Ellen and Marie to drag him forcefully to eat and take a break. Both the older young women's interest perked. Oh? This was new to them. Ellen Walker has never done this before. Bringing a dinner for a handsome young man on her own will? Sounds suspicious for them. And it was not a surprise that Lenalee suspected there're something romantically had been involved in this. Hey, both she and Miranda are girls so it wasn't exaggeration too much if they had that kind of suspicion, not when there're rumors about how they ere being a pair of lovers at the shadow. It's not difficult to ignore the disturbing rumors on these days.
"So you're going to Noctis' room?" Miranda asked in slightly disturbing.
"You're caring so much to him." Lenalee commented with a hint of curiosity.
"Just as a good friend, no more and no less." Ellen told the green haired girl. There was a polite yet denied tone within her voice.
Now Lenalee became more suspicious and her curiosity increasing.
"Even for a good friend, you're too caring to him. You almost like his lov―"
"No, I'm not. We're really good friends, Lenalee. And for the last time…" Ellen narrowed her grayish silver eyes. "We're not lovers."
Miranda completely startled. "Eh!? B-But the rumors said―"
Ellen immediately blushed at the mention of rumor. Inside, she was groaning in suffering manner. Oh no, not this again! She had enough with all of these rumors around her and the poor young man.
"Miranda-san, can you just ignore them already, please? They're just rumors, there's no truth inside." Ellen half begged at the older woman with squeaky voice.
It wasn't without reason Ellen acted that way. Recently, there was a rumor regarding her and Noctis for being a couple in secret. It had made the silver eyed young woman devastated. She doesn't know since when the rumor had started and for how long the rumor lingering around the members of Black Order, however Ellen had just acknowledged this when Johnny asked her about the accurateness of the rumor by himself few days ago. To make it worse and more embarrassing, the clueless young man asked her at the cafeteria when afternoon break, when there were a lot of people included her friends in there and sat by near if not around her. The rest is history. Although both she and the young man had denied the rumor over and over again, it seems for the rest of the Exorcists and scientists, the rumor indeed had some truth behind it.
There was no need to search hardly for an example. The example stood right before her.
Lenalee kept smiling at the ever slightly taller young woman. In fact, her smile grew wider than ever and filled with unmistakable mischievousness. That doesn't seem to be good.
"I kind of doubt it～～～" She sang teasingly.
Not good at all.
"Le-na-lee…" Ellen hissed warningly with low voice.
It wasn't hard for Lenalee and Miranda to notice the pink dust on the snow haired young woman's cheeks. The blushes on her face didn't make her scarier; in fact it even made her cuter to their amusement. But angry Ellen wasn't a good sign, when it happened something bad will follow after. The purple eyed young woman had to change the subject of the conversation, so she cleared her throat twice and asking about the young man in question.
"What he's been doing at for exactly? It's kind of rare to see him lately."
Unexpectedly, Ellen shook her head as her shoulders slumped. There was concern on her voice.
"I don't know. He seems to write about something since he had Lavi's book in his room and he has been staying at his room from yesterday. That's why I intended to come to his room and ask him."
"Does…he going to be fine…?" Miranda also showed her concern.
"Noctis is just recovered a few days ago. But if he indeed sick again, I guess I'll have to force him to take a medicine and rest. I hope he doesn't, though." Ellen answered with hopeful tone.
"Hm…" Lenalle looked thoughtful. "He's quite a weird boy, although he's kind."
The gray eyed young woman furrowed her eyebrows. "How so…?"
Lenalle fixed her eyes on Ellen for a while with that intrigue look. "I wonder if he ever attends prestigious school. Just look at the way he moves and talk, they possess some kind of gracefulness. And his politeness! I swear when I'm talking to him, he's looked like a count or something similar."
"He isn't, he told me that he's a civilian and served at military service." Ellen remembered the young man's reason to enter military service; he had and he must to protect his country.
"Ah." Miranda then nodded comprehensively. "T-That's explained, I mean, why his moves seem to be trained well."
"I see…" Lenalee still had the intrigue expression although it had lessened. "Though, I can't help but think…"
"What…?" Ellen prodded her friend at the hanging sentence.
The green haired young woman dropped her filled with curiosity opinion.
"Have you ever thought if he's like a prince from those fairy tails? I'm sure if he's ever become one, you'll be very lucky to have him as your boyfriend perhaps even husband."
"…Lenalee," Ellen began with a deep frown; somehow she wasn't like the speculation with him being a prince. The idea was pretty much absurd to her own opinion. "I can assure you, Noctis is a normal guy, a civilian on top of that. Rather than a prince, it will be more believable if he's attending prestigious school and no, I'll not make him as my boyfriend moreover husband…"
'Besides I doubt him for being a prince since I haven't make confrontation about this with him…' The grayish silver eyed Exorcist added mentally.
This was another main reason why the snow white haired young woman more than willing to bring the food from Jerry himself for the euclase eyed young man. She pretty much concerned for his healthy but she also want to talk privately with him as well. Ellen realized the topic was fragile so she had to keep this from Link and her friends. Moreover Link couldn't follow her tonight due to his unusually ridiculous amount of paperwork. Link wasn't happy with this, he assigned to be Ellen's observer by Levellier himself but in the end the braided blonde had no other choice. He must finish them all tonight before he catch up with her since both her and Link room only across Noctis' room.
Lenalee shrugged it off easily and laughed in amusement. "Ellen, it's just my opinion. Even I'm not sure if he really comes from those nobles. He doesn't look arrogant to me."
Ellen couldn't help but also laughed with her green haired friend while Miranda was only smiling.
"Your imagination has gone too far. If it wasn't because you're my best friend and a very nice girl, I'd say you get that imagination's influence from Lavi." Ellen jokingly accused the purple eyed young woman.
Lenalee was protesting her friend. If one looked closer, there was a faint dust of pink on her cheeks.
"Hey! I'm not the same with him, at least I only say it out of girl's instinct."
Ellen only shook her head for this, still with the smile on her dark pink lips. "I have to go now. Otherwise he might be suffering from starve before I get there. It's nice to talk with you two. See you!"
"See you, say hello to him from us!" Lenalee replied.
"I will!" With that, Ellen finally took off and walked away from both Lenalee and Miranda. They watched her went further and further went the amusement slowly vaporized from Lenalee's face.
"…Really," Lenalee sighed and she went face palmed once the silver eyed young woman was completely gone from their sights.
Gone her cheerful smile, now it was stressful expression she had in there instead.
"Why is she still clueless as ever!? Even Johnny can see that they're like to each other." She ranted fretfully.
"Perhaps she hasn't realized it…yet." Miranda offered the answer with hesitantly. "Lets hoping she's quickly realize her feeling for him." The black haired woman added some time later.
Both of Lenalee's shoulders slumped tiredly. Her hand fell onto her side and she had this annoyed look across her face.
"It's not helping when Noctis also the same with her…" Lenalee rolled her eyes.
The older woman startled. "He is?"
"He is," Lenalee looked pretty much pissed off. "In fact, he's even worse than Ellen!"
Miranda sweat dropped. "Ah…"
"It makes me frustrate, Miranda! Just admit it, have you thought at least once how cute they are when together…!? Or how matching they are…!?"
"Uh, y-yes I do…"
"And yet those two are so clueless and have very thick heads! Is there any way to make them acknowledge the other's feeling?! Never mind with their own feeling…!" Lenalee ended her rant.
"You're sound like you're trying to matchmaker them…" Miranda pondered.
"I am." The green haired young woman admitted truthfully. "But it's not the important thing in here. I'm very worried about Ellen. Her recent condition is not good. Each time passed, it become worse than before, moreover after…"
"Ellen…she must be having a hard time to believe that General Cross died…" Miranda lowered her head because of the sadness.
"I have to admit Noctis presence's distracting and helping her through this difficult moment." Lenalee said exasperatedly. "I can say the same thing happens with Ellen's presence to him. She has becoming an important figure to him in such a short time when he's far, far away from his homeland. Before I've been realized it, they have become very close and almost inseparable."
The purple eyed Exorcist stared back at the direction where Ellen was gone to.
"I wonder when the time will come for those two to realize their feelings…"
It didn't take long before Ellen Walker arrived at the corridor where she lived. She kept walking steadily and carefully since she had a basket filled with foods in her embrace. If she wasn't being careful, she could have been trip on her step or trip because of the stone floor and fall. Even can worse if she dropped the basket and spilling its contents. It will be a total pain if Ellen must back to Jerry again and asking for another food. Don't even start from how many foods in the basket would be in waste and Ellen very hate wasted food. It didn't help that the lamps corridor was dimmer than usual, made the silver eyed Exorcist having a difficult to see her way. Different with the old HQ, they have lamps to light up their corridors. Ellen replayed back the memory of this afternoon lunch. Johnny had told her they had some trouble with the power source so they limited the energy supply for unknown time.
Technically, it shouldn't be a problem for her. She was an Exorcist after all and with her trained senses and skills, it should be easy task to bringing a basket of foods to Noctis' room. When she saw hers and Noctis', Ellen hurried her phase while Timcanpy legs tightened even more at her casual shirt. Ellen had stopped her step once she was standing before Noctis' room.
"Enter." A familiar deep voice replied from inside.
Ellen twisted the doorknob and pushed it to the inside. And then from the corner of her eyes, the beautiful snow white haired female watched the young man sat at chair, facing the table. Above the table was a pile of books with notes slipped in here and there. Noctis who was having his back on her, didn't bother to glance at the door and continue his focus at writing the note before him. Seeing it, Ellen took an initiative to close the door slowly so she wouldn't get him surprise in a bad way.
The door closed behind her as she motioned Timcanpy to stay on her shoulder. The golem had been flown for a moment followed its master trail. The golem obeyed and landed on her shoulder quietly. Ellen gave Timcanpy a quick smile before she focused her attention to Noctis once more. She noticed how the young man seemingly not realized who has entered his room. He kept continue to scribbling whatever he wrote above the paper. Ellen was having a mind to crack his fingers and scolded him for good but she decided to against it. No, she won't do it. It won't do any good to her even to him obviously. His concentration to his work was remarkable, no wonder he missed his dinner once and locked himself almost all the time. It's the right time to snap him from his concentration or whatever he's doing. So Ellen cleared her throat a few times and attempting to greet him in clear yet not overloud voice.
"Noctis, good evening!" Her cheerful and warm voice was reaching his ears.
Noctis stopped his scribble abruptly and lifted his head only to have his surprise and widely opened eyes fell on the sight of silver haired young woman who was waving her right hand, smiling while her golem company sat on her left shoulder. Ellen had to suppress the bubbling laughter which threatening to come out. His face was hilarious when he had his face struck like a deer caught on the headlights; too bad she didn't have a camera for recording his face, it would be fabulous.
"Ellen? Timcanpy?" Snapped from his daze, he put the pen away and stood hastily from his chair. "Good evening. I thought you're staying in your room…"
At the assumption, Ellen lifted the basket on her left hand right away. "I went to Jerry and asked him to bake an apple pie, dory soup, and chocolate for you."
The young man gaped blankly and Ellen had to admit that it was a funny face he made in there.
"What?" Noctis was taken aback by her answer. "Why did you do that…?"
"Is it not obvious to you? You're missing your dinner, again." Ellen told him and drawing an exhale. Her silver eyes were closing briefly before they snapped open, looking accusingly at him.
Noctis flinched at the gaze which she gave to him.
"It's already 8 o'clock. Are you planning to fast today? Because I will not let you do that." The silver eyed young woman pointed out the problem.
Noctis frowned and once he stared at the clock near his bed, he felt stupid for not realized it earlier. It indeed had quite late already. He looked again at Ellen dumbly, asked the only question which came across his head.
Ellen exhale again and didn't bother to wait for his response as she walked toward the table and put the basket on the table. She then put both of her hands on her hips, gazing sharply like a scolding mother at the young man.
"As I have thought. You do forget." She said in disapprove tone; she didn't happy to found him miss the dinner.
"Errrr…" The short black haired young man felt the sudden pang of guilty. "Sorry."
The silver eyed Exorcist did a faint sigh. She dropped her hands from her hips and having one to wave dismissingly. "Never mind. Can you help clean and arrange the table, please?"
Noctis nodded hastily, feeling bad for troubling the young woman. "Sure."
Both of them then started to work. They tidied the scattered books and notes on the table at first and make them into few piles before they put them all at the bed. Ellen then worked out on the soup, the pie, the drink, along with the eating utensils and the plate. Timcanpy had flown from Ellen's shoulder and giving a hand as well as the golem put the empty basket away. As they cleaned the table and prepare the food, the snow white haired young woman's mind didn't stop thinking about what is he doing in here exactly. Bracing herself, she threw the question which had floating in her mind in one of these days.
"Noctis, just what have been you preoccupied at lately? You're always writing and writing, you lend more books from Lavi, and then you're always late at dinner time. Now you have missed the dinner twice times."
"It's…complicated." Noctis had stopped in the middle of cleaning and scratched his hair awkwardly. "It will be easier if you read those titles by yourself."
"…?" Ellen was tilting her head in bafflement.
The spike haired young man then took one book from the bed and gave it to Ellen. "Here. Just read the table of contents and you'll understand what I meant."
Ellen accepted the book with her hands. It was thick but it has such light weight for a thick book. She could smell the faint old papers smell from the book itself, it almost like cinnamon smell. Funny how it sounded but the book was old and in good condition, it did smell like cinnamon from what her nose and smelling sense pick up. The book must be old. The silver eyed young woman eyed between the book and the young man. She did blink before she did what he said and took the dark brown covered book from his hand. Ellen opened the book and processing to read the contents carefully as she was being watched by Noctis. There was a change with her expression however. The longer she read the contents the more the confusion wrinkles on her forehead increased.
After she finished read it, the beautiful Exorcist then closed the book silently and now having this incredulous look on her face.
"Noctis? You're reading all of these difficult theories…?"
"But…this…" Ellen raised the book within her grasp. "Do you even understand half of them? They looked like they're coming from Science department and I find it not easy to learn these contents. You don't have to do this, you know."
"I have to, Ellen." His tone became more solemn. "If I want to find a way back to home."
"Ah…" Ellen put a hand on her mouth. That's right. Noctis came from another world and so far they haven't found a way to send him back. "I'm so sorry, I-I'm never meant to make you sad or hurt. I've forgotten that you're…"
The silence fell between the two of them, served Ellen more uneasiness and uncomfortable feeling more than necessary.
"Let's not talk about this anymore. Those foods look delicious and I can't eat all of them." Noctis tidied the last pile of the books away from the table. "Do you want to eat with me?"
"Eh―!?" The silver eyed woman jumped slightly. "I don't want to impose you. Those food are yours and you're need them more than me, besides I've just eat at the cafeteria more than enough."
"Nonsense, you're not imposing. I don't want to eat all of them by myself. You're more than welcome to have some."
"Thank you for offering me but I'm completely fine by just accompany you. They are yours and you can have them all." Ellen still stubbornly refused the offer. "You need to taking care your health…"
"I'm not mind if we can share the foods; moreover it's more fun and merrier." Noctis stated his opinion. "Oh yes, that includes you, Tim."
Above the empty basket, Timcanpy rose from its sit and flapped its wings few times in eagerness. It didn't mind for having more dinner for today. Besides, those foods looked delicious to the golden colored golem and it want to try them.
Seeing and sensing her golem enthusiasm reaction, the young woman Exorcist had her shoulders slumped. "I'm not at the position to refuse, am I?"
"Hey, I'm not forcing you…" He replied honestly. "Besides, don't you realize we have two plates, a pair of cups and two pairs of eating utensils?"
"Huh?" It was when he told her the fact that she turned at the table and soon realized that everything, including the plates and the eating utensils were indeed double. "Ah…"
She didn't realize there were extra utensils inside the basket since the silver eyed Exorcist in the middle of deep thought to actually notice the excess. Then Ellen just has remembered about the extra utensils she brought. Now come to think of it, she just noticed how the soup pot even too big for one people. It was as if the soup made instead for four people. Ellen blinked a few times when every piece clicked together. No wonder the basket heavier than it supposed to be. There's only one way to explain this and it had been happened once before. There was no mistake between the similarities of events.
"It must be Jerry's doing again. There's no way he would gave eating utensils more than one. He knew exactly what I'm asked at him." Ellen concluded weakly. She decided to leave most of the details at behind.
It had happened once when they were ate at afternoon two days ago. It still fresh on her mind how the spoons somehow double when Noctis asked –more like invite actually- her to help him finish his too big sorbet. The sorbet's amount was indeed too big for him should he finish it alone so she agreed his invitation to eat the sorbet together and asked if he had another spoon, in which he answer he had given two spoons by Jerry instead of one. It was then Ellen noticed how Jerry grinned with adoration to her from his kitchen and how Lavi and Lenalee wore those filled of conspiracy grins they tried to hide from her sight although it quite obvious their attempt was futile. At instant, she knew that they were the culprits. They wanted to match maker her and Noctis. This must be the same tactic Jerry used too. There was no way Lavi and Lenalee didn't involve in this. Strangely, Noctis didn't seem to ever notice this. Is it because he didn't bother with the extra utensils and dismissed them as a normal accident or is it because he just simply too stupid, ignorant even to notice the oddness? Ellen sighed deeply in exasperation; guess it couldn't be help then.
"Fine, I'll go eat with you." Ellen finally gave in, her face hardened in return. "But you have to finish most of the foods we have in here, do you get it?"
"Sure." It was at that time Noctis then noticed the absence of the blonde Inspector. "By the way, where's Link? Isn't he always staying by near you?"
"He has himself being stuck again with the paperwork." The short haired young woman shook her head and sighed exasperatedly as she replayed how the blonde struggled with his paperwork in his desk. "Seriously, one of these days he's abusing himself to the line between life and death. I've told him many times to take it easy but he chooses to finish them all today before catching up with me."
Noctis pitied the younger man. "Are they urgent documents?"
Ellen shook her silver head. "Only few of them actually are important enough but the problem is, there are so many of them to the point I almost thought half of Komui's paperwork had moved to Link's place."
"That's…quite a lot." Noctis commented drily.
"In which why I told him to take it easy. He hasn't taken a proper rest since yesterday. He has told me his paperwork's deadlines are still long enough." Ellen fused. She wondered if the blonde Inspector was a workaholic concurrently masochist. He did listen her advice but he didn't take and do what she had told him or at least suggest him to do. From Kanda, Link, even Noctis, were all the boys she had met this far have to be stubborn like this?
"He's an Inspector, of course he have mountains of paperwork to do. I'm amazed how he manages to keep his duty between guarding you most of the time and do impossible amounts of paperwork."
Ellen was staring back at him with that round and innocently surprise. Noctis felt awkward with the stare. "Uh, is something matter?"
"No, it's nothing important though I do wonder about something…" Ellen looked thoughtfully for a moment. "You're talking about those paperwork as if you've experience them already. Had you ever did the same or perhaps similar thing like what Link is doing now?"
"I am." Ellen heard how Noctis muttered something about 'stupid paperwork'. "I swear there's a time when they're seemed to be endless and I had to sign them fast before other piles coming."
Oh that was new piece of information to her. She never expected for the young man to do such thing as paperwork. But then again, aren't all of jobs always having paperwork?
"Are they as bad as Komui's?" Ellen was deadpanned.
"No, but it's a real pain none less. It took me around 4 hours to finish all of them."
Now she really concerned with Link after she hearing the euclase young man's story. Perhaps leaving him with the paperwork wasn't a good idea at all. Perhaps she should have persuaded him harder next time.
"Poor Link. I wonder if he's really alright with all those paperwork…" Ellen felt more worried.
"I hope he is…" Noctis nodded sympathetically. "Why don't you tell him that you're going to stay in here for a while?"
"Oh, you're right." Ellen gasped silently. She hastily went to the door. "He will be looking for me once he does all his paperwork. I have to inform him now. Timcanpy, wait in here, okay. I promise I'll be back soon."
The silver eyed young woman glanced at the short haired young man with great anticipation. "Will that alright with you?"
He only did a shrug. "I don't mind it. Make yourself comfortable."
And for the next quarter hour later, Ellen had back from her room after told the blonde that should he was looking for her; she would be in Noctis' room. The blonde had this reluctant and curious look on him but he decided to let it go since their room only came across each other. Moreover if something happen, he can just walk or run in there and check the condition. Ellen suspected that his agreement had something to do with the paperwork, in other words the blonde was too tired from doing all those paperwork to argue with her. Once again, Ellen felt a pity for the braided blonde. She promised in her mind that she will bring a piece of the apple pie for Link later.
After the silver eyed young woman back, they started to eat the warm foods at the table. They were chattering various things as they enjoyed the soup that Ellen had been brought from Jerry. As expected from the chief, it was a very delicious and superb soup. The apple pie didn't different, it also as good as the soup. The texture was soft, juicy, and easy to chew. Oh, and the still steamed and warm chocolate. It matched the pie perfectly. Overall, their combination will be perfect in the middle of cold night like this one. Even Timcanpy asked for the third slice of the apple pie. Both Ellen and Noctis were having their second for the fish soup. The soup was only enough for 4 peoples but that's fine anyway, Ellen had ate so much thus she didn't need more, Noctis himself can't ate more since he began to full, and the most fortunate thing for them, it fitting their stomachs quite well.
"This is good." Noctis praised in wonder, completely savoring the taste of the soup. "I'm never eating this before. What's it name?"
"Dory soup." Ellen simply replied. She shoved another spoonful of soup and chewing it. "It's a fish soup. Dory is the name of a fish from the deep sea and its texture soft so it will make a good ingredient for a soup although we can also grill or merely baked it."
"Judging from your expression, I guess you don't have dory fish on your world." Ellen eyed him curiously.
"No, we don't." The young man shook his head. "A lot of things are different in here…"
"I wonder why our worlds are quite different. But then again, if every country has its own difference and similarity to other country, why don't the worlds having same rule?" She placed her hand under her chin and mused thoughtfully.
That was reminding her of something else.
"Noctis? Can I ask you about something?" Ellen took another spoonful of soup.
"Yes, go ahead." Noctis drank the warm chocolate carefully.
"You haven't told me anything about your family apart from your deceased mother." When Noctis stopped drinking and focused startlingly at her, Ellen added more. "Since your mother has passed away, you're living with your father, right?"
The sky blue eyed young man blinked confusedly. "…? Yes."
"What is he looking like? Your father, I mean…"
"Oh…" Noctis' euclase colored eyes uncharacteristically softened. "He's a quiet person and always looked serious at the outside although on the contrary he's a soft and kind person."
Of course Ellen was interested. "Really? Like what, for an example…if you don't mind to describe him to me, of course." She added hurriedly, the slim female Exorcist slightly ashamed at her enthusiasm. He seems didn't mind it though.
"He's a busy man but he always spent his time with me when he isn't. Be it exercise or going outside for fishing and walk around." He told her fondly. "There was one time when we ate dinner together and the vegetable soup weren't quite tasty so I didn't eat it at first."
Ellen wasn't supposed to laugh at this but it happened fast. She almost burst into laughter. The word was almost, dear ladies and gentlemen. Of course she tried to resist it but as hard as she could, the laughter was coming as giggle. She can't imagine the young man before him was once upon a time a little child who didn't like vegetable. But then again most of kids having the similar problem; they didn't like vegetables. Since she was poor when she was a little girl, she had to thankful for whatever the food she and Mana got from the money they gathered as clown, even if it were vegetables. Besides, aside from she loved to eat anything, different from any other kids surprisingly she quite like vegetables. In which why she found the dislike for vegetables were keeping amused her. While it did annoy the parents to some point, Ellen found it adorable since it's signified their childish and innocent nature.
"I didn't know you were a picky child. You don't look like that." She said as her shoulder shivered from the giggle.
The giggle only intensified when she saw faint blush on Noctis' cheeks.
"Hey, the soup wasn't tasty." The euclase eyed young man was trying to defend himself.
The giggle ceased but she has that wide amused smile plastered on her lips. Her tone was playful and filled with teasing tone, served only more embarrassment for Noctis.
"Su～re, if you say so." Ellen ceased her giggle so they can continue their story. "What happened after that…?" Ellen asked in vagary as she shoved another spoonful of dory soup.
"He persuaded me to eat it so the less cook sent away. He took a spoonful from the soup and ate it," His lips drew a bigger line of smile. "Then he made a funny face, protruding his already green colored tongue. I couldn't help but laughed and ate the soup as my father kept smiling."
"It's must be nice to have a father like him…" Ellen smiled fondly at the description he gave. He sounded like a nice man to get acquaintance to. It made her want to see the father of this young man. "I really wish I can meet him one day if there's a chance."
"Let's hope so." His sky blue eyes darkened with somber. "Too bad though, one of these days we rarely meet each other…" Noctis sipped his chocolate quietly with faraway gaze. "I wonder what he is doing now…"
In which Ellen was braving herself to ask him a question she had been concern at.
"…This maybe sounded like a stupid question…but are you missing your father?" she inquired gently.
He didn't say anything but he did nod his head affirmatively and continued to sip his drink.
Ellen stayed quiet with unreadable expression. Inside she actually sympathized with him. He was far away from his home world. He was alone in here in this unknown world. Of course he would felt…lonely. Ellen felt sadness for him. Should they switched places, she will also experience the same thing. Then a sudden thought came abruptly across her head. Ellen wondered what would happen should he didn't appear in Ark and instead appear in somewhere else, outside the Black Order HQ for example. Ellen then felt a little more than anxious. She didn't want to imagine what would happen to him when he was out there, lost, alone, and totally hysterical. Just thinking about it had made her anxious none less. The silver eyed Exorcist was sending a thankful toward certain Goddess of Death. Perhaps the agreement between Etro and the Musician wasn't so bad at all.
"What about you?" The young man suddenly asked. Ellen snapped from her thought and staring blankly to slightly curious Noctis.
"Eh? What about what?" Ellen parroted the question back, her beautiful silver eyes blinked innocently.
"What your own father looks like?" Noctis prodded further.
Ellen blinked a few times before his question really sank in into her. Once she realized it, her grayish silver eyes widened slightly as she gaped softly.
She never told him about her was being an orphan or that she went adopted by Mana, the kind traveling clown. She never told him her past as a traveling clown and followed her father wherever he was going. Ellen never mentioned Mana to anyone until not too long ago when she got back from France a.k.a Phantom Thief G's mission. She had just acknowledged it at that time to if not because of Link mentioned it. At the same time, Ellen then realized that this maybe the first time she ever telling Mana and her life with him before he deceased. It's not Lenalee, Lavi, or Link but a young man coming from another dimension. The snow white haired Exorcist then had a good idea crossed in her mind. Perhaps if she can exchange her story with him, they can become closer and chummy. Ellen always wanted to know more about the sky blue eyed young man but they never really had the chance. Perhaps this is the perfect time for this. Ellen shouldn't waste her time; she had used it very well. Who knows when they have such rare and precious moment like this, anyway?
"I don't have any…" At the paling Noctis', she hastily explained further. "I'm an orphan therefore it's natural that I don't have parents, not until I'm seven years old and then adopted by Mana, my foster father."
It was the new thing in which Noctis had just learned today. He had no idea that the young woman had been an orphan in past. And she said she had been alone without mother or father for quite a long time before she got adopted?
The euclase eyed young man speechless to say. "You don't have…at all?"
Ellen gave a shook head. The silver eyed young woman finished the rest of the left soup in her plate.
"I don't have any as far as I can remember. They abandoned me for my left arm and since then I'm worked at a circus before few years later I taken by my father." Ellen lifted her gloved left hand. "And why are your face looked so trouble?" She said with a raised eyebrow after she noticed how his expression changed from pale to anger.
Noctis was about to open his mouth but he clamped it and he instead huffed rather harshly, showing his pique straightforwardly. "I don't like it. The way they treat you."
Ellen was staring bewilderingly, not expected the young man would angry for her parents while Ellen herself didn't has any recollection about her parents memories. Not that she miss let alone hate them since it happened years back then. She may hate them long time ago because they abandoned her and not bother to care for her but she had lost that hate for an equal long time. So the slim and beautiful Exorcist was letting it go and doesn't concerned about it anymore since she taught by Mana to keep walking upward and don't look back no matter what happen. So she chose to forget about her parents and living with her current family on the Black Order. Ellen was feeling content and happy at this point, none will replace her family. When they didn't related by blood, their bonds were a very strong one. And this young man felt angry toward her parents who she had forgotten?
"They had done such cruel thing to you only because of your arm." Noctis added disapprovingly. He had a mother and he has a father, but having no one as his parents not to mention they abandoned you? It doesn't feel right for him and he disapproved it. Parents must love their child no matter what even if the child has deformed arm in Ellen's case. Just like his own parents.
Ellen then remembered the previous topic they had already talked at. "Oh, right. You're still living with your father and you had a mother once. I almost forgot it." In which Ellen intrigued just what happened to his mother actually. He only mentioned her got into an accident along with young Noctis.
It served even more discomfort than necessary at the sky blue eyed young man.
"We can change the topic if you want to." He suggested carefully.
Her reaction however was beyond his expectation.
Almost immediately after, her bewildered stare softened into an understanding yet filled with sincere gratefulness. Her lips curved into a reassuring, small smile before it was gone although her voice said the otherwise. While it wasn't necessary for him to dislike her parents' action to her opinion, Ellen's heart warmed and the snow haired young woman felt some happiness when she acknowledged the fact he showed her some concern for her well being. Still, Ellen felt completely fine and she didn't want to make him worry about her long, forgotten parents.
"Silly, there's no need to." Ellen voice was filled with reassuring pacify. "Besides, it's not fair you're told me about your father while I'm not. I haven't told you about myself, including my father."
He doesn't look convinced but seeing the way on how she was smiling to him, he had no choice but decided to let it go at last.
"I guess so..." He replied half reluctantly.
Ellen smiled sweetly at the reluctant sounded reply. "Anyway, back to the story. Mana was my foster father and he was a traveling clown. I meet him when he's stayed temporary at the circus where I'm belonged to. He then took me with him shortly after his contract was over and we traveled together ever since then."
Noctis pondered the idea traveling freely.
He never has been in another kingdom other than Tenebrae, he never traveling before.
"That sounds fun."
"It was!" Ellen exclaimed with beaming manner. The growing excitement was radiating from her face and her silver eyes brightened happily. "There are various places we come to stop by and most of them are beautiful if not interesting, we also met various people within. Mana was running the show as a clown while I'm helping him with the show. Since he was a clown, he very skillful at acrobatics and he taught me how to do it. It was fun whenever the spectators were laughing and happy when they watch us perform. We never left England though…"
"Hm…" Noctis nodded with the faint yet amused smile on his lips. "It must be very enjoyable if we could go wherever we want…"
"You should have to try it at least once. Trust me you're not going to regret it; I know some interesting places around England and outside England as well. I'll show you around if we have the chance. Do you interest?"
"I don't mind." The black short haired young man's interest peeps out. He took the last spoonful soup and shoved it into his mouth. "I never come to any place but France so far, so why not?"
The slim young woman seemed extremely pleased upon hearing his reply. Ellen then gazed at the golden golem which still chewed a piece from apple pie.
"That's good news isn't it, Tim? Now we have a company if we going to travel around!"
The golem felt the same amount happiness for its master as it gulped down the whole pie. "Rawr!"
Sometimes Noctis wondered how possible a golem which supposed to be mechanical was in fact organism form like and possessed emotions almost like human itself. But what had his attention the most wasn't the golem but the owner of the Timcanpy itself. He thought that Ellen was a very kind nice girl. He never meets a girl as innocence as like her before in his life. Well, Stella also a kind and a nice young woman but if he had to compare her with the silver eyed young woman, Ellen's innocence more remarkable than the purple eyed blonde, perhaps unbeatable to some point. Ellen's innocence or naivety itself became a wonder and at the same time, it does intriguing him a lot to his opinion.
Not even Stella this close with him. They indeed had a close relation when they were still kids but when they grew up, their relationship began to change as well. In fact, he felt he wasn't close with her anymore since they grew distance to each other. Ellen was the first young woman to have close relationship with him after so long. And while they strangers, surprisingly they come along quickly and smoothly…not so smoothly but still if you not counted the whole chaotic fiasco –the one when he found out he wasn't in his home world- and if you excluded the awkwardness at the beginning on their relationship, it can never hurt to be considering their relationship as smooth. Ellen was the weirdest yet the kindest person he had met so far in this alien world. He doubted there were a lot of persons with like her outside there. Do he have to mention that this slim exorcist far scarier as well? So far, the white haired young woman was the scariest woman candidate, following by his mother and Stella. Still, that didn't change his view about her a bit. She was attractive in her own way such as her appealing silver colored eyes, long and elegant eyelashes, small and slim yet long fingers, and…
Noctis abruptly ushered the thought away from his mind, a bit more than startled to found himself thinking that way. He really should stop thinking inappropriate things before it goes south. His attention back when Ellen started to talk again, continuing her childhood story.
"Anyway, Mana and I were continued to traveling across country as clowns. We already did this job for next 5 years. Although we had been poor, had not much of income, and had no home, we had so much fun and happy memories. We were happy and content at that time. I was happy as his daughter and glad to have him as my father. He's not only adopted me but he's also taught me many things that I must know and what I should know, excluded the clown things." Her expression unexpectedly grew bitter and solemn. "But when I'm turned 12 years old, he died at an accident …in order to save me."
Noctis was taken aback. "Ah…"
"That night, I was running before him, I told him to hurry and catch up with me." Her face looked so serene and forlorn. Ellen bit the bottom of her lips unconsciously as she replayed the accident in her mind. "It was late and it was dark therefore I couldn't see the road clearly and I was too preoccupied with calling Mana. I ran toward the interchange as I ignored his warning not to run fast. I haven't realized there was a carriage from the opposite direction before it was too late. Before I could dodge it, Mana protected me…and passed away as the consequence."
The grip on the cup she has been holding at tightened forcefully. Even though it happened more than 5 years ago, the wound in her heart hasn't fully healed yet. It's painful to remember how she was the body of her father laid in a few meters away from her, unmoving and cold. It took a lot of self control to stay as calm as possible. To Ellen Walker, the memory when Mana passed away was one from the most painful memories she ever possessed. It had thrown her into her deepest grief to the point she wanted him back. A feeling which draw Millennium Earl to her and lured her to call Mana back to living world…as an Akuma later she destroyed with her own hand. An event shaped and sealed her fate, the beginning from her continuous fight with the fat man and his Noah Clan. Her deep thought had to be broken however by a sudden apologize coming from the euclase eyed young man's lips.
"I'm sorry," Noctis apologized uneasily. There was regret in his voice. He cursed himself for asking about her parents, he shouldn't have done it. Now he made the silver eyed female Exorcist sad because of it. "I have no idea…"
There was a warm flutter in her stomach when he showed his sympathy for her. Ellen wouldn't denied the happiness bloomed within her once she acknowledged the how concern he was. But at the same time, she wouldn't admit it for now. Ellen had been too embarrassed and she hasn't finished her story yet. Nonetheless, the short haired female was still grateful for his caring though and she very appreciated it. So the silver eyed beauty allowed her dark pink lips curved into a kind and warm smile.
"It's okay, there's no need to apologize." Ellen shook her head. "It has been a long time ago and you're just asked the question. Of course you don't know until I tell you."
Noctis still shoot that concern stare to her. "But…"
Ellen chuckled softly. "I've told you, there's no need for you to apologize. I don't mind it."
"Are you sure?" The black prince wasn't fully convinced.
"Positively sure." Ellen stated reassuringly. "If he was still alive today, I'm very sure he'll fit up nicely with your father and befriends with him. He was also a typical caring father."
Ellen took another sip of her chocolate.
Only a little chocolate left inside the cup.
"Not too long after his death, Master -oh his name is Cross Marian and he was my teacher- took me with him and I trained to become an Exorcist for 3 years."
There was line of confusion cross on Noctis' face. "…Cross…Marian?"
"Before you can say anything, it's not a girl's name even though it does sound like a one." Ellen replied with faint tease.
Noctis flushed at the time she could read what was inside his mind at the moment. "Oh…"
"As a General and one of the strongest Exorcists, usually he traveled a lot and rarely come to our HQ since Generals have an important duty to search any Accommodator that compatible with fragments of Innocence they bring along with them. A General also may have an apprentice at least one. He has me as an apprentice in this case." Ellen explained with some details.
The young man sat before her could only nod in acknowledgement. So far he understood and caught the whole explanation.
"It was a harsh training none less but in the end I made it, to be an Exorcist I mean. Although…" She stopped in the middle of sentence because bad memories started to assault her without mercy.
"Although…what?" A second later, Noctis sensed a dread feeling in which made him shivered unconsciously.
And it came from the female Exorcist sat before him. She was letting out a dark aura and much to his chagrin –and also fear-, it grew and built stronger each time she talked more about her master.
"When my training ended…he told me to go to the Black Order by myself…and hit me with a hammer." Ellen wore a dark and humorless smile, making the air around her grew somber and despair as ever. "He left me alone with Timcanpy as a guide…He was always like that…"
"Errr…" Sweats began to rolling down from the back of his head, the poor young man completely oppressed by the intense pressure that she was radiating currently.
Timcanpy was also sweat dropping as the golem eyed the silver eyed young woman warily and concerned.
Ellen chuckled darkly in ironical manner that giving Noctis' a chill through his body. "I don't get it why a womanizer, a drunker, and a debtor like him can become an Exorcist…a General above that…whenever he had huge amount of debt whenever he gamble or drinking, he always left me behind with those debt collectors. He would left me so I pay his debts for him and made me doing a cat and mouse chase with them. It always has to be me…"
Noctis thought nervously. This conversation had become not relaxing and not so fun anymore. The female Exorcist obviously in bad mood and it wasn't impossible if she started to use physical way in order to relief her anger and stress toward her irresponsible master. It stills a possibility no matter how small the percentage was. Ellen was a woman. And it's widely known that woman's fury even far more terrifying than hell's inferno. With the fact she was a strong Exorcist, who knows what kind of damage she will make with that incredible power of her. He had to distract her somehow before things grew worse than what was necessary. An idea flashed in his brain. Noctis spirited up a bit. Hopefully, it will distract her from her dark musing.
"Ellen…you don't have to talk about him any further than this…" Noctis waved his hand uneasily. "Why don't you get yourself more soup and apple pie? I will have some to…"
"Oh right…" The dark aura which surrounded Ellen previously discarded abruptly and she was come back to her previous self as if nothing happen. "I almost forgot them again. The soup and the pie." She offered a content smile. "Shall we finish them before they get cold? They're delicious only when they're warm."
"Okay…" Inwardly, he sighed in great relief. Thankful as the silver haired young woman distracted from her master.
They continued to eat the rest of the food with silence. None of them talking anymore they mind their own thoughts. Noctis was repeatedly sending thankful toward the Goddess of Death in his mind because the worst scenario had been prevented without any bloodshed and they can continue this peaceful time. He didn't want to experience the similar thing in the future, it had been bad enough to see her furious with that dark aura of her! The sky blue eyed young man didn't want to make her angry if he can manage it, aside from the health's squabbling. He had seen what kind of act that woman capable at when she was angry but not into this degree. Noctis shivered fearfully at the thought and he hurriedly finishing his soup before he gulped down the chocolate. He really didn't want to make her angry, perhaps a good idea if he obeyed her from now on…!
With Ellen on the otherwise, her mind was on something else. She stole a scrutinizing glance toward Noctis who gulped on the cup a bit too hurriedly before she back to her own cup. The short haired female Exorcist nurtured the cup, staring onto her own reflection on the remaining chocolate as her mind kept ran. She attempted to remember everything Etro had said to her when she met her in the Realm of Between. The real identity he was hiding from her…just what is it actually? The deeper she researched; things became more confusing and confusing her. Was it true that he went lying to her in order to protect her from his enemies so they will ever harm her? Was it true he lied to her because he wanted her safe? But what kind of people will take an act as far as targeting him and hurt those who stay around him if it's necessary? Just how dangerous these people are? Because if they indeed dangerous…
Ellen had no planning to let them think that they can take the young man away only to satisfy their greed and leading them to the crystal and granting them magic power that they can use to harm even more innocents. So Ellen took a decision. The white haired Exorcist has made a determining decision. She had coming into a unanimous decision. She wanted to know. Ellen wanted to know who he was exactly and why he hidden it from her. She can't hesitate about this. She can't stay still when one of her friends was endangered by a threatening and powerful force. Ellen had to confront him about everything in this place, right now. Ellen had to confront him about his true identity, she had to confront him regarding his enemies, and she had to beat that thick skull of his that she wasn't a helpless girl. She had to tell him if she wants to, she will gladly and willingly help him along with her friends.
It was now.
"…Noctis? May I asking you about…" Ellen coughed a few times and cleared her throat carefully. "…Something?"
Noctis paused in the middle of sipping his chocolate before he put down the cup and staring to the silver eyed female Exorcist.
"What is it?" He asked, his tone sounded curious more or less.
Ellen was quiet for a short period with that unreadable look on her face before she asked a question…in which he would never expected come out from her mouth.
"Why are you hiding it?" Her tone drastically changed from her earlier cheerful into solemn one.
Noctis now completely baffled at the sudden and odd question. "Pardon…?"
"Why are you hiding it? About your true origin." Ellen blurted straightly and to the point.
Noctis almost went frozen on the spot. Almost.
"Ellen, I'm so sorry but I don't quite get the topic in here." He pretended to clueless. Calm down, he suggested mentally. Calm down, Noctis. You have to stay cool and calm. She must be talking about something else. It has to be. She could be talking about anything, perhaps his true job in military service, perhaps his family background, it could be anything.
Anything but that.
There was no way Ellen knew already about he was a prince, right?
Noctis suddenly felt a great hesitation and overwhelming anxious.
From the way she had been talked…
…It was impossible the silver eyed young woman had found out far earlier than it supposed to, wasn't it?
…Or was it?
However his desperate hope got crushed at instant when he noticed the change of her expression.
"Noctis," Her face grew drastically serious. It looks like she has to say it straightforwardly otherwise he wouldn't have realized it. "I have discovered it from Etro."
The euclase eyed young man had his mouth gaped in dumbfounding. He was losing his voice for temporary.
"…What?" Noctis asked while he stared shockingly at the silver headed young woman before him. Correct him if he was wrong but did she just say that…
His fear soon confirmed by the sweet female Exorcist. Sensing and seeing his obvious shock, Ellen took the initiative to elaborating more details. He hadn't known about her met with Etro herself inside that dream while they were in France yet. Ellen even hasn't and didn't tell this to anyone yet since it was too personal to her. This is the matter she rather talk with Noctis only, he was the only person who having important connection with her and Etro. And Ellen trust him wholly, she having no worry for he can hold his promise, she knew it. Noctis wasn't a type of person who was will not lying unless it's for the safety those he cared like her. Etro had confirmed it and the silver eyed young woman also trusting the goddess.
"When we were in the middle on mission to investigating Phantom Thief G, she appeared in my dream…" Ellen explained further.
His face changed into several colors paler than before. His eyes went wide but unseeing.
"T-that's…" Noctis was almost stuttering in disbelief.
"Sounds crazy? I know, but I was in this dark land where crystals in various size and colors scattering in everywhere," Ellen caught how the euclase eyed young man's breath hitched and how his eyes widened if it was possible. "Then there was this beautiful yet very pale lady with dark dress. She told me that her name is Etro and later, she told me a lot about you. She said that you have to hide your identity to protect us from your enemies. Especially me."
Noctis had been stunned upon hearing it.
"Impossible…" Noctis couldn't believe this. He only knew one place which matching the description and he himself had gone there once when he was between life and death. "The Realm of Between, the land that's crossing between the living world and dead world. But how―"
"It only happened once but she really came to my dream. Somehow, she was being able came to me and telling me about the Keeper and its consequences. How your world is in war and you have to protect her only remaining gift, how dangerous it was to protect it, how many people wants to lay their hands on it…" Ellen told him with some details.
Noctis stunned. His face was losing its color shade since now he looked like a piece of paper.
It was impossible.
"…She did tell you?" The black prince asked very slowly.
Ellen nodded confidently; there was no hesitation a bit in her clear grayish silver eyes.
"She did. She told me quite a lot." She replied straightforwardly.
"…So it means…" Noctis paused for a second and then shook his head weakly. "Forget it. There's no point for me to lie anymore, you've know it."
There was a flash of pain within her usual determined yet soft silverfish eyes. So he did hide his identity from her all of the time. Now she had knew that he indeed lied to her for some reason, never mind to make sure she and her friends secured. Were his enemies really that dangerous and cruel to ever hurt the innocents around him as well until he felt the need to didn't tell his true identity to her?
"Why you didn't tell me the whole truth…?" Ellen asked quietly.
"…I can't and I have to."
"Why? Why you have to?" Ellen couldn't understand it, the importance to hide things from her. To say that she disappointed at the thought he lied to her was understandable even though it was being told for her own safety. She had understood his reason and the slim young woman actually was feeling happy since the young man concerned for her but it doesn't mean he could hide something from her. What if it's an important or crucial matter to concern at? Screw the 'if', it has to be something important, if it wasn't then Etro shouldn't and wouldn't came to her in her dream and told her regarding him!
"Ellen…" Before the young man could say any further, the silver haired Exorcist had cut him first.
"Why must you lie to everyone? You're lying to Komui, to Lenalee, to Lavi, even to Kanda and me." Her voice latched with disappointment and dejected emotion. "You do it as if you're trying to shield yourself from us."
"I…" Noctis couldn't find his voice.
As much as he want to avoid it, what she said was very much holding truth and he couldn't deny it. Not only he hide the real him, he also trying to keep certain distance from them when at the same time he socialized and forming relation with them. He didn't want them to know who he was. Or they might be killed or involved into a danger for knowing him as a prince and a Keeper.
Noctis' heart clenched painfully at the selfish thought.
But did he really wish for that?
Did he really…?
And Ellen still hasn't finish yet with him.
She has a lot of things she need to tell him.
She must realize him that his way of thinking was incorrect.
She must realize him the attempt he did will only cause problem in the future should it continued.
She must tell him he didn't need to hide it anymore, for it will be alright.
For it was okay for him to trust them more and let them through.
It was only the beginning part from her opinion and thought concerning this.
"Noctis, truthfully I don't care what past you're have and I'm not intend to find out because I know you're not ready to share it with us yet. We're letting you for a moment because we've through the similar situation more or less, once upon a time." Ellen told him softly as Noctis still staying quiet. "But I don't like it when you always try to hide it and gave us half truth and half lie. It's even worse than lie itself. If you wanted to tell us the truth then tells us, it's not like we're going to hate you or something. Is it very dangerous to know your true identity to the point you have to lie about yourself, just like what Etro had said?"
Noctis began to open his mouth but abruptly closed it back. Instead, he let out an exasperated sigh before he was placing his hand on his forehead.
"Then what will you do if I told you that it is dangerous?" He asked a while after.
"Then I don't care." Her voice became firm in a second as her silver eyes blazing lively, startled him at the process. "We're not a group of weak people. We're Exorcists and we capable to fight on our own. You don't have to be worry about us. We're your friends and we're not going to leave you alone in this."
"You're not alone, you have us." Ellen's firm silver grayish eyes stared straightly at his.
There was amount of hesitance within his sky blue eyes, a clear sign which signaled her that the young man haven't ready yet to reveal his true identity. He did still hesitating, torn between a want to honest or stay silent. However Ellen wouldn't let this happen and she wanted to tell him it was completely fine to trust her. She wanted him to trust her and her friends. She wanted him to let her and her friends stand along with him; she wanted him to allow her and her friends to support him with all the mighty and efforts they have and they can. And the most importantly…
"So please…let us help you, as much as we can." It was a confident statement the beautiful silver eyed Exorcist has just now.
Her voice went very soft at the very end. She really meant it, that sentence she said a while ago. How much Ellen wanted to tell him…
That he has becoming an inseparable part from the Black Order and that he had precious friends whom he can account for.
That he has becoming important for her even when she knew he can't stay in here forever and he will come back to his world once they find the way home.
That he wasn't alone anymore in this foreign world where he got lost at.
He has friends now and he can rely on them, a point which Ellen wanted to tell him.
A point Ellen was being honest at.
Noctis stunned to hear it coming from the young woman's lips. Did Ellen really mean it? Did she really wanting to help him and stay near him? He was in a deep thought for a quite moment. Thinking and considering all the points she had threw to him and she let out so he will know what she was feeling toward him. He stayed like that for another few minutes before he relaxed his tense shoulders and his face became a calm mask.
"…You're right." He started slowly.
"You're right. Maybe this is the cue for me to tell you everything. I can't hide everything from you, not anymore…"
Perhaps it was a signal for him to tell her the whole truth. Perhaps it was a sign for him to tell her who he is. Ellen deserved it. Ellen must deserved it because it if wasn't because of her, probably he would never revealing himself. Her brave filled with kindness words, her charismatic yet gentle eyes, her confident acts, her warmth, her loyalty for her friends, they never cease his amazement no matter how often he interacted with this remarkable young woman. There was always something new coming from this silver eyed young woman and along with time, he began to look forward for their further, meaningful, and deeper interaction. The days he spent in here together with her became far more bearable, more interesting…and precious despite its danger. He never thought that he will be able to overcome his despair for not in his home anymore. Contradictive with his first assumption he managed to stay fine thanks to her and her friends. If it wasn't because of her help, he didn't sure if he can get through this.
Noctis was curious and wondered. He never has been this…intrigued with a young lady, a common young lady above that if you excluded her status as Black Order's Exorcist. He had to admit truthfully that Ellen Walker was different from any ladies in his world. Her whole attitude also showing much difference from those ladies of nobles back there in his home world. While Ellen indeed having politeness like them, she also possessing both incredible inner and outside strength no to mention she also possessing amazing amounts of sincerity within that small yet slim and athletic body. And she was having that unquestionable kindness of her, the need to save everyone as much as she can with her gifted power. To be short, the silver eyed female Exorcist is a special young woman he ever met.
Without Ellen realized, she had gained new level of respect from Noctis Lucis Caelum, the prince of Lucis Kingdom. Mind you, only few women had ever caught him and having his respect. And our stunningly beautiful Exorcist had his full respect. In which resulted that he doesn't want to be outdone by her. He wanted to do the same thing as equal as well. He wanted to follow her example for being honest and open toward other people. He had to settle this now or never. The sky blue eyed young man noted mentally to give his grateful feeling to the slim female Exorcist.
"Noctis…?" Ellen raised an eyebrow, frowned at the sudden change of his demeanor. She wondered if she had been gone too hard to him although her already trained feeling told her that the reason of his sudden changed is caused by something else aside from that.
"It's…a long story. There's a very reason why I decided to hide my identity to you. It's not because I don't trust you all, but…" He stopped for a moment, in which it drew Ellen's curiosity.
"But, what Noctis? Why you're hiding it…?"
Ellen saw the young man's gaze lowered slightly.
"I'm afraid…" Noctis finally revealed his reason; strangely enough his voice was calm and quiet. "I'm afraid. If I told you my true status, you and everyone else…will back away from me."
"What makes you think so…?!" Ellen didn't bother to show her incredulity. She didn't think the young man was capable to think that way and probably would never. Was he so anxious and afraid about his identity to the point he more than willing to hide it from Ellen and the others…? Was he an idiot…?
The silver eyed young woman felt the need, no, the urge to voice her own opinion and thought. She must to, or the young man probably would never acknowledge it. She had to, for she had to tell him that he wasn't alone and he was considering by them to be an important part from the Exorcists, even for temporary. The young man had become an important person to her. A friend she valued and she hold dearly and she swore she will protect them no matter what happen. A friend she began to considering as a family. Ellen must let him know that. She didn't care if she must beating it into his thick head or else. So in here, she confronted Noctis and told him what she had on her mind.
"Noctis, we'll never throw our friend away and you aren't an exception. You're also our friends! Let alone throw, we'll never back away from you whatever what kind of past you're having…! We, I don't care about your status!" The parasitic Accommodator exclaimed.
Noctis lips curved ever slightly with mirth –was that also has amusement? She couldn't tell it since it happened too quick- before it shifted back to normal. He shook his chocobo head gently, making his soft black hair swung following the shake gesture.
"Unfortunately, my real status is the main reason why I kept lie to you." Noctis continued still with that calm tone of his. "My real status is connecting tightly to my father. He's a man with amazing and extraordinary influence, everyone is very respected him and placed themselves below him. Every time they saw him, they always connecting me and expecting me to follow his steps."
"Then they can't do that to you." Ellen voiced her disagreement. Ellen didn't forget to make a mental note to confront those idiots once she meets them in the future. She'll make sure of it. "Everyone has their own right to choose their path at their own will. They have no right for expecting you to follow your father's steps. You have to voice your own opinion and tell them your feeling."
"If only I can do that…" Noctis smiled forlornly. "As much as I want to, I can't deny the fact that both he and I share the same blue blood within…"
Ellen was about to protest further when her mind registered something odd from his latter explanation. It made her very baffled to say at least. Her mind replayed his previous explanation and when she found the peculiarity it made her dumbstruck.
…Did he just say…
Eyeing the still forlornly smiling young man before her thoroughly, Ellen was asking the question appeared suddenly in her head. Somehow, she had an uneasy feeling about this. And she had always trust her gut feeling ever since she became Exorcist, it had helped her so many times. It was telling her that his revelation was a devastating one.
"Noctis? Pardon me but are you trying to say that your father is…?" She trailed off. Her voice was full with anticipation.
Noctis nodded, this time a faint smile was adorning his lips. "My father name is Regis Lucis Caelum and mine's Noctis Lucis Caelum. My father is the current ruler of Lucis Kingdom therefore as his child and coming from Lucis line, I'm becoming his main successor."
That was it. Ellen was stunned to say at least. She had been right; her intuition had been true all of this time. Noctis wasn't a civilian since the first time. However it wasn't the only problem now; now she had more questions as he mentioned those seemingly high class words such as like 'ruler' and 'main successor'. Her brain analyzed quickly and made the connection. Weren't they some kind of nobleman's terms, just like the blue blood matter he had mentioned before? So far as she knew the term of the blue blood only used for those who were bearing a sign of nobility or born nobility. In other words, blue blood was a term or a nickname for nobles or even the royalties. Moreover, the way he spelled his and his father's full name, they sounded like nobles full name and how was his country turned to be a kingdom…
Suddenly, Ellen stopped abruptly at that very moment. Her gears stuck and had stopped spinning in a heartbeat. Then at the next second, the gears on her head were turning too quickly, even furiously as that one word finally became the final piece from her puzzle. Her mind replayed the word that had her stunned for once more…
He said kingdom, not a country. The silver haired beauty was becoming very nervous out of sudden.
She had prepared and bracing herself to face the facts. She had prepared and bracing her own self to get ready whatever the revelation he was going to tell her now, even if it was meaning bad news to her.
The only thing was; obviously, she wouldn't expect this kind of revelation come from this young man…
"I'm a prince, Ellen. I'm heir to my father, the king of Lucis." Noctis ended plainly.
A pregnant silence.
A second later however, all kinds of chaos suddenly broke loose in that small room.
Ellen shouted from her lungs with all of her mighty, grayish silver eyes almost like as if they bulged from her eye sockets since they went so wide. Ellen's voice grew higher and frantically at the same time. As the result, Noctis jumped in his chair at the loudness of her voice but he managed to sit back and staring as if she was growing two heads. Timcanpy's reaction also wasn't far from him. The poor golem jumped from where it sat, its wings flapped frantically before it stared at its master with questioning look. Unfortunately, she was too busy to notice their comical reaction. Her mind was totally blown up. Usually in normal condition, she would give her apology for startling a person but unfortunately this wasn't a normal situation she had in there, she had been too shock to bother with such simple mistake she made. Not when the handsome young man before her confessed the fact he was a prince.
"What did you just say now?!" Ellen pointed at the poor young man disbelievingly. "Y-you're…a prince―!?"
Noctis winched slightly at the loudness but he did nod affirmatively to her astonishment.
"But…but how…!?" The silver haired young woman's mind was swirling incoherently.
Noctis? A prince?
She only knew from Etro that the young man was a Keeper, nothing more. The thought of him was being a prince never crossed in her mind! Ellen had acknowledged the said position was a nobility position―
Ellen couldn't help but to blushed furiously; the color of hot red was on her face and her cheeks feeling so hot. She wanted no more than to face palming or perhaps bashing her own head. At that moment she wanted nothing more than to crawled beneath earth and hiding for good. How could she was this stupid…!? No wonder she had been sensed something different from the sky blue eyed young man! Ever since they met inside the Ark and getting close to each other thorough the time, she had been sensed not only once twice but a lot to notice the said young man had this faint nobility and regal aura surrounded him, sometimes it grew intimidating if he was mad. And the expression he wore whenever he get serious was reflecting someone with high rank just like the Generals.
She then remembered how luxurious yet how military looked like the clothes he wore, not only when she met him in her dream, not when he first arrived in here. A normal civilian couldn't afford such clothes like them. It will cost a fortune definitely, like her Exorcist's uniform. And his position, his position as a Keeper! Etro did said about it was some kind of noble's position or form. Not everyone can have this position. It would be much making sense if Noctis himself was the part of the noblemen himself. Why she didn't make those connections faster and earlier before!? Out of sudden, Lenalee's previous comment echoed inside her head.
"Have you ever thought if he's like a prince from those fairy tails? I'm sure if he's ever become one, you'll be very lucky to have him as your boyfriend perhaps even husband."
That was it. Ellen had to resist the urge to scream loudly as the blush worsened than ever. The silver haired female Exorcist opened her mouth but soon she found that her voice wasn't going out just as she had been expected to. Instead, she closed her mouth and face palmed her face with both of her hands trying to hide her face away from Noctis' eyes. The thought he become her boyfriend let alone husband was terrifying and embarrassing her at the same time. In other words it had mortified the poor Ellen Walker successfully. No offence but thinking the short haired prince could become her boyfriend was making her like a little girl wished for a handsome prince with white horse for her ideal husband. In a way or another, the thought was even worse than the thought of she would belong to Tyki, just like he exclaimed to her once upon a time in the battle inside the Ark. Her brain fried the moment she acknowledged this indeed shocking fact.
'NOOOOOO…! How come this happened to me…!? Lenalee, how could you!? Why must your assumption is hit the mark…?!'Ellen screamed mentally as she continued to blush.
She wanted nothing more than to crawl under the earth and vanish forever.
She wasn't ready with all of this revelation!
She wasn't ready yet…!
"Ellen? Are you okay?" Noctis' concerned voice was reaching her ears.
"I'm fine, I'm fine!...I guess." Ellen answered too quickly before she ended it with lame tone.
"How…?" Ellen asked with small voice and quick manner. It was almost unbelievable an fairy tail like much to her aghast. "How can you're a prince!? How did this happening at first?"
Noctis sighed forcefully. He leaned against the wooden chair. "Like I said, it's a long story."
Okay. This was the end of it.
Having enough with this preposterous not to mention odd situation, she wanted nothing more but a full and complete explanation from the sky blue eyed young man.
"Noctis," Ellen began demandingly, still with the blushes which visible on her face. She struggled to gain back her control and her body started to shook. "You…"
Suddenly Noctis felt a little more than wary as he saw the young woman's current state.
"You must start to explain it, everything from the beginning to the end. And I'm really serious about this."
And indeed she was being serious. Ellen wouldn't going to take 'no' as an answer. Not when he hidden things from her and it had hurt her in a way. She wanted nothing more than the whole truth from his mouth. Just like as she said before, a completely lie had been bad enough but half truth and half lie was even far, far worse than just a lie. It gave impact multiple times more destructive to people. The snow haired young woman didn't want the young man with those beautiful pair of eyes does the same thing to her and it disappointed her enough once she knew him not telling the whole true story. Meanwhile, Noctis glanced at the parasitic female Exorcist in carefully yet wary manner, afraid to make the slim young woman angry or even worse than just angry. While at the outside he had this controlled emotion, in inside was a different story. He had left with no choice but to uncovering the whole story. Besides there was no point to keep hiding it when the silver eyed young woman had known even before he ever told her.
"I'm going to tell you from the start but are you fine with this? It'll be a quite long one story; it'll take awhile to tell you everything." Noctis was slightly unsure.
Ellen huffed and crossed her arms on her chest.
"I got all time to listen to you, and I'm not going anywhere until you finish, even if Link's coming here and force me to go back." Ellen told him firmly.
She wasn't care. Ellen didn't care if it will take a long moment to hear the full story. Her stubbornness will not allow it and she wanted to know the whole story, without a part of them get added or reduced. She didn't care if Link ever barged in and told her to go back. She will stay in here until she managed to acknowledge the complete story. The silver haired young woman wouldn't go anywhere until the sky blue eyed young man tells her completely and that's final.
"Err, right." He hastily replied.
"Can you tell me from the beginning, please?"
Noctis took the time to reintroduce him once more. "My name is Noctis Lucis Caelum and I'm a prince from Kingdom of Lucis. I'm also Keeper of the Great Crystal, the sacred crystal that is holding mystic power from ancient time."
"The Great Crystal?" Ellen was looking disturbed. Somehow she has been heard it somewhere before…
"The crystal in which was given by Etro herself to my ancestor, long time ago. It's not only my ancestor, there're others who also had these kinds of crystals as well."
Realization hit her at the spot. Of course she has. She even heard it from the Goddess of Death herself.
"Ah right. She also told me that in my dream. But why was she given those crystals to human? I don't think the crystals will be necessary for us. Just look at this world, we don't have crystals and we're completely fine…" The slim young woman gave her opinion.
"Etro gave them for a reason." Noctis cleared his throat. "Myth said the goddess of death was given the crystals to bless them. Once upon a time, every kingdom had them and yet…"
Ellen resumed the short explaining for the rest of the story. She had been knew the continuation from this tale. "The human started to war each other and the crystals lost one by one, it was continuing just like that for centuries until there's only one left and still exist today."
Noctis sighed ruefully and ruffled his chocobo hair in stress gesture. "Etro really did tell you everything…"
There was a flash of sadness and understanding within Ellen's soft yet clear grayish colored eyes. She didn't and couldn't bring herself to blame him; Etro felt worry for him after all because he is her trusted and faithful Keeper.
"She concerned for you, you're her trusted Keeper after all." Ellen replied rather tenderly.
"Concerned, huh?" Noctis smiled ironically. "I've been useless and she said that she concerned for me."
"Noctis," Ellen tried to having his attention to her, there was question he still hasn't answer yet. "Before you came into this world…what had happened in your world? Is the war still…"
"Unfortunately it is. With a treaty, my kingdom managed to safe for temporary." Noctis sighed once more. "It was until Niflheim broke the treaty and starting to conquer other countries."
"Why does this Niflheim broke the peace treaty and went as far as conquered those countries?" Ellen felt that she would never understand politicians and political issues for a long time. They sounded like Inspector Levellier and those who was coming from Central much to her annoyance.
It was a completely ridiculous thing for her when at the same time she admitted the politic itself also important for humankind.
Sky blue colored eyes narrowed in disdain. "They want my kingdom's crystal; the last one that ever exist."
Ellen was taken aback to say at least. She blinked once, twice, and third time blankly before she opened her mouth.
"Just for that?" Ellen asked incredulously. Of course she had heard this part from the black dressed woman but to think that a kingdom will do anything to get a hand on the last crystal…
"Just for that." Noctis confirmed.
Ellen stared blankly before she broke away and shook her head exasperatedly. But then again, Etro did tell him those detestable people didn't hesitate to kill Noctis. If he stayed in that world, his death would be just a matter of time. She wondered which world is more dangerous, Noctis' with his endless war for the last crystal to satisfied their greed for magic or hers with war against Millennium Earl and Noah Clan, a very long war between life and death with earth and mankind as the stakes. She couldn't decide it which one was the worse. Ellen sighed deeply and letting out some of her stress. At least he was safe in here for temporary and he had them. He had her to rely with and she will make sure she will keep him safe.
"…No matter how many times I heard it from Etro and you, I still don't know yet either I have to call them very mad or very greed. Is magic really, really so important in your world?" Ellen asked, sipping the last remaining of the chocolate.
"It's considered as living legend. They will do anything to get the crystal; it's the reason why Lucis Kingdom shut itself from the world at the first place."
It took Ellen's attention. "Wait. If they have targeting the crystal; shouldn't it make your kingdom as the main target? Why they conquered other countries at first? It would be easier if they strike you straightly and take the crystal away."
And there was the odd thing.
If they want the crystal from the beginning, they should've attacked the Lucis Kingdom first. Or so Ellen assumed.
"They want to make the treaty weakened so they did conquer and beaten the countries other than Lucis before they move onto us." His right clenching hand tightened and then shook violently. "The fight then broke, I tried to protect the crystal but things went south and…"
Ellen was reaching for his clenched hand and wrapped her hands around his with gentleness.
"It's fine, Noctis. You don't have to force it. Try to take a few breaths and focus at them. It'll help you calm down, just like the last time..." Ellen advised gently before he looked at her. Ellen did a quick soothing smile. "It's okay, I know you can do it."
Noctis stayed still before he did a heavy sigh and did what she told him to do; he drew several deep breaths and tried to easy himself. Not easy since the silver eyed young woman could sense the chocobo haired young man still having that anger inside of him. His trembling hand said so much and spoken his true feeling. Although she might not understand his feeling completely, she can grasp the feeling with perfect. The feeling of her very own home attacked and assaulted only for an actually pointless thing, she had experienced it. It was just like when the old HQ got attacked by the Noah only because they had the Earl's Egg in their possession, leading them to destroy it so the Noah and the Akuma army would never get their hands on it and stopped them from further destroying the HQ. As for the egg itself, while some may thought it was important and could be use for humankind's sake, however most of people found keeping the egg had not point, it will do nothing good for them. Besides with the egg had been destroyed, Millennium Earl can't make any Akuma anymore. Once Noctis managed to calm down and his shook lessened, Ellen put her deformed and gloved hand on Noctis' left shoulder as she started patting him.
"That should be enough to calm you down for now. I don't mind if we take a break for a moment." Ellen then added more after a brief silence. "Or do you still wish to continue?"
Noctis nodded firmly. "I have to. You've shared your past and it's my turn. I must fair in this…"
"…If you keep insisted like that then let's continue the story. We will be more relaxed now. This time slower and unrushed, shall we?" She pulled her left hand back and grasped his hand once again. "You tried to guard the kingdom's crystal, is that right?"
"Yes. The Great Crystal, it suddenly activated on its own and let out a bright light. It hit me to unconsciousness and the next time I woke up…" He ruffled his chocobo hair jittery with his free hand. "I'm already in this world."
"I see…" Ellen looked in a deep thought. Her silver eyes narrowed slightly. "It explained why she was so desperate to teleport you to this dimension."
Noctis lifted hi head a bit and stared blankly at her. "Huh?"
"There's something I need to tell you." At Noctis' continuous blank stare, Ellen was deciding to explain further. "You see, Etro was the one who brought you to here…"
"The Goddess did it…?!" He shouted incredulously.
Ellen quickly nodded in hasty movements. "She did. In fact, she got a help from the Fourteenth as well and they successfully moved you onto this world through the Ark…with one condition."
"What condition?" Noctis urged in worry.
Ellen lowered her head, her grip tightened at his hand unconsciously. "He wanted you to do something. I still have no idea what kind of act he'd expect from you but Etro said we have something similar in common, that's what The Fourteenth looks for. "
Noctis was completely speechless. "What did you mean?"
"Uhm…It's…" Ellen shifted uneasily in her chair. Her brain worked up so hard in order to solve this problem. "Before I'm explaining further, can I ask you one question?"
Sky blue eyes blinked owlishly. "…? Okay."
Ellen was hesitant for a moment before she decided to throw the crucial question. "Before you swap to this world, have you ever dreamed about sitting on the middle of dark room?"
Now Noctis was completely taken aback. Why she suddenly ask that question from all of things? And how did she know about the dream as well?
"What's the connection with―" The snow white haired Exorcist raised a hand, motioning him to listen at her at first. Once he shut his mouth and waiting for her to continue, Ellen gave him her rather shocking story's continuation.
"I saw you. I saw you in that dream…" Ellen began in soft and quiet voice.
"You're alone in that room, you're sitting in elegant chair and you're surrounded by water. Your place is a bit higher so it didn't get flooded. Sleeping peacefully and had ethereal aura around you, I almost thought you as a black angel." Ellen licked her dry lips nervously. "And then, you opened your eyes. You then saw me."
"…Impossible…" Noctis whispered after a short pause. "So you're had the same dream with me. We really had been met before; I thought it was just my feeling."
"Of course we had," The silver eyed female Exorcist was being affirmative. "Since it was Etro herself who connect our dreams and made us see each other."
"She wanted to see if I can accept your presence as you can accept mine since she was going to send you to my place. I'm accepting you…" Ellen was drawing a deep inhale between her sentences. "And you're accepting me, because we're similar deep inside. That's what she said to me in Realm of Between."
"Although she indeed started the summoning process, it was the Fourteenth or the Musician who did most of the job and finally summoned you through Ark. Etro had been desperate to send you away and he offered the chance." Ellen continued, sipping another chocolate. Her mouth felt dry by talking many things including this matter.
"And he wants me to do something…" Noctis frowned. "But what?"
"…I think I know what he might want. I think." Ellen muttered her thought after the brief silence.
"…You think?" He repeated uncertainly.
Her silver eyes darkened and yet she remained her calm composure.
"Tell me," Ellen began in anticipation. "Do you know about Noah Clan?"
The euclase eyed young man had his expression changed into an aghast one. Looks like her guess had been hit straightly on the mark. Inside Ellen took a mentally note that she really needed to start sharpening her investigation and deduction skills. Things will become more difficult from now and she must use her brain to solve them with quick and the safest way she can find. Both of those skills had proven themselves to be quite useful skills and she will really need them in the future.
"Judging from the expression you've showed earlier, it seems you have aware about them." Ellen took a quick conclusion.
"…Only because Komui and Levellier told me." He replied curtly after a brief silence.
Ellen narrowed her grayish silver colored eyes slightly in frown. As so she had suspected before. One more guess proven hit on the mark. While the snow haired Exorcist had been suspected the Inspector had been intended to interrogate the euclase eyed young man's origin and his motive, the stern looking man might also told him something else regarding her and Fourteenth's part from the Ark. Well, it couldn't be helped. On the bright side, she can save her time to give him more explanation and she can go straight to the point.
"Okay. So you had the basic knowledge about the Noah. Do you know anything about their specific characteristics, aside from their super strength ability?" The silver eyed young woman asked calmly.
"Aside from the super power?"
"Aside from the super power, whatever they are." Ellen confirmed.
"They have yellow eyes, gray colored skin, and most strikingly, the seven stigmata at their forehead. They also said to be able to reincarnate from one body to anot―" Noctis stopped abruptly when he noticed it. His eyes widened in shock. "…Wait, don't tell me…"
Slowly, she formed a small smile. Ellen was smiling at him. However it wasn't a happy or delightful smile which formed with her dark pink lips but a wry and forlorn smile.
"It seems I'm also the same although it's not clear yet why I'm chosen to become his vessel from all of humans."
"…How can it happen at the first place?" Noctis asked weakly.
It was too cruel for him.
Why it has to be her from all of people on out there?
"I've acknowledge this not too long ago. It happened before you're arrived. We were in urgent mission at Edo, Japan. We had to stop Earl and the Noah Clan's plan by entering the Ark, which was still within their possession. We entered the Ark and fought them one by one," Ellen was closing her eyes nostalgically. She still can remember the battle as clear as a day. It was impossible for her to forget it. That particular battle was the one which crucial for the silver eyed female Exorcist. "But the Ark was suddenly starting broke down and it was a matter of time before it disappeared within rift of dimension with us inside it."
"It must have been terrifying to experience that." The euclase eyed young man commented.
She turned her silver lock head onto the cup filled with half filled warm chocolate. Ellen gazed into a distance. "It had been terrifying. I thought we were gone for good if not because the song."
"There was a way to cancel the Ark's destruction. It's just like you having to enter some kind of codes to delay it and the way is happened by playing the piano in the secret room. It was the first time I met the Fourteenth or the Musician, also known as Noah of Destruction. He guided me to play the song and stopping the process." Ellen lifted her cup with both of her hands and gulped a bit of the chocolate calmly. "In the end everyone was saved and not too long after, I found out about I become the said Noah's vessel from the higher ups and my Master. Things went more complicated than before ever after."
"How complicated it was?" Noctis had been disturbed by the story. He didn't like where this story will be going.
"Komui, Lenalee, and the rest of my friends aren't care about me being a Noah's vessel. If anything they become more protective to me." Her gaze darkened along with the flowing words. "But the same thing can't be saying to the rest of the Black Order's members. They choose to keep some distance from me, believing me as the Noah's vessel, I will betray them in future. Central isn't any different. Moreover there's possibility the Noah will also after me, that's why Levellier had Link assigned to guard me. And then…" The tone of voice became bitter as she couldn't hide her pain and her sorrow. He needed to know about this, he was her friend now.
"My Master was murdered." Her voice filled with pain and sadness.
Ellen never let anyone see her sorrow for the loss of the crimson haired general. For a first time after Cross assumed to be dead, the silver eyed female Exorcist finally showing her sorrow and pain for the loss of her Master. It was true that the red haired General have quite a lot of crappy traits. Cross was a drunken playboy bastard to begin with and let's don't forget he always in debt with unbelievable amounts of money. But despite all of those horrible traits, she had to admit that he was a great man. Despite his rudeness, he actually care and had softness beneath that hard treatment although the General probably would never admit it. The red haired man was a strong and formidable General, even Earl himself didn't underestimate him. While Ellen indeed fear and didn't like of him, she does care for him as an apprentice. To think he died mysteriously had taken quite a toll on Ellen.
"…" Noctis now was having this look of deep concern. She looked in grave with her master's sudden death.
"I'm had been depressed when I discovered the fact about his death. I find myself couldn't believe it, he was a drunkard playboy and have one hell of debts behind him but he was also a powerful Exorcist, a General above that. To think he could get killed…it was beyond my imagination. Nobody's known who killed him and how the culprit did it. The Black Order even can't find whoever the culprit is until now." The beautiful silver eyes' owner explained. "You can say with my Master's death, I'm became more vulnerable both from Noah and from Central." Ellen then did something surprised him, her face went softened as her lips curved into a smile. She gave him a small yet very warm smile at the same time.
"And then…I came here." Noctis ended with a soft whisper. It was barely inaudible if not because of Ellen's sharp sense. Of course she could hear it despite how small his voice was.
"Yes." Ellen said. "That was when you came from your world and dumped in Ark."
Noctis stole a glance toward both of her still as ever grasping hands on his. "Are you trying to say that the Fourteenth wanted me to protect you since you're his vessel?"
The beautiful young woman nodded affirmatively.
Her grip on his hand tightened slightly in uneasiness. This time, Noctis clenched gently those small hands of her in soothing gesture.
"It's possible. I mean, I found you in the very same secret room, then Etro told me he offer to help her when she struggled to save you from the battle. Moreover, he wanted you to doing some kind of job in here as a reward…" Ellen lifted her head slightly as she fixed her silver eyes onto Noctis. "Don't you think it's smelled suspicious?"
"…Come to think of it, it's indeed suspicious." Noctis muttered in affirmative. "Now I see why Levellier had been stubborn to interrogate me. He suspected me being controlled by Fourteenth via the vessel."
"Yes, he must be―Wait. What did you say just now!?" Ellen very shocked to hear that. She didn't hear about this yet! What he is just said!? Levellier did what…?! "Levellier did an interrogation to you…!?" Ellen shouted frantically.
"Remember when I called by him after I got here?" At the snow white haired Exorcist' quick nod, Noctis continued with grim tone. "He asked me how I got here at the first place, and he asked me questions I rather avoid."
"…I've heard the reports from Link and Chief Lee. It's very interesting I must say."
Noctis kept his mouth shut but his eyes did glance at Komui seeking for an answer. The bespectacled man,who happened to sat behind his desk, was staring back at him and had signaled him to keep listening. Inspector Levellier sat before the black haired young man, keeping his narrowed eyes trained at him.
"You do have some bad luck occurrences back in there, aren't you?" Levellier raised one of his eyebrows. "You were in your home world; you're not living in here but in other dimension away. You were in your country, living in peace and safewhen you're suddenly," He pressed it a lot. "Being pulled by some unknown force to the inside of the Ark and went unconscious after. You then found by Ellen Walker, you woke up only to found out that you're neither in your country nor your home anymore, not even in your dimension."
Noctis' lips thinned in frown upon hearing it. He glanced at Komui with emotionless expression, demanding the answer. Komui flinched at the look which Noctis gave to him. Komui realized that he had no choice but to answer the young man.
"As much as we wanted to keep this as a secret, we can't do the same thing with the Central. They are demanding for explicit details and others." Komui looked at him guiltily. "I'm very sorry for this."
Noctis was staring at the white beret man for few seconds before he broke away and sighed rather harshly.
"I guess few things will never going well…"He muttered under his breath.
The Inspector smirked slightly before it was gone and replace back by frown.
"It's quite a nasty bad luck, isn't it?"
"…What's your point then?"
"To thinking about it, you had nothing to do with this war. You're not having Innocence, you're not an Exorcist, and you're not a Noah or Akuma, just a normal civilian. But that's the reason why I need to ask you, Mister Caelo. So…" Levellier eyed him carefully and dangerously. "What is your connection with the Fourteenth?"
Noctis a bit caught off guard because of that odd question as he blinked owlishly but regained his composure. "Excuse me?"
"What is your connection with the Fourteenth, Mister Caelo?"
"Who is this Fourteenth you're keeping talk about?" Noctis asked back with annoyed yet intrigued in the same time.
"Inspector Levellier," Komui opened his mouth. "He obviously had no idea about the Fourteenth. He just came here by pure accident."
"And do you have any prove to show it to me?"
"His nescience had already proved it. Don't involve him to the Fourteenth matters more than this." Komui warned and he stared sharply at the Inspector.
Noctis glanced at the two of them warily. "I'm sorry to interrupt you but who's Fourteenth?"
This got Komui's attention. "He's a part from the Noah Clan who sided with Millennium Earl before he betrayed him." The spectacled man began.
"They are a group of super human like with various abilities, leading by Earl Millennium. Their purpose is to wipe mankind from earth. The Black Order is solely exist to defeat them." Komui explained. "They can be recognized from the seven stigmata's on their forehead, ashen skin, and their golden eyes in their Noah form. They can also reincarnate using the body of human from one to another."
Noctis processed this information, however his frown deepened. "I failed to see what the connection is."
"There are total 13 Noah we're acknowledged. But years ago, the Fourteenth appeared; something must had happen because he later betrayed them and died some time later. He's the one who owned the piano room where you're founded. Only the Fourteenth and the Earl have the ability to control Ark among the Noah."
Noctis face went hardened. So that's why Levellier kept nagging him about the Fourteenth. It really sounded suspicious when you heard it.
(End of Flashback)
The short haired female Exorcist sighed deeply after he finished the story. "So typical of him. I should've known he would throw his suspicion to you to prove his point."
"It wasn't over at there. He even questioned me if I allied myself with Fourteenth and told me to keep away from you." Noctis rolled his eyes.
"He did tell you to avoid me because I'm the Musician's vessel? Because I'm the vessel of a Noah, the enemy from the Black Order?"
"He didn't?" Ellen repeated with obvious surprise.
"He did tell me to avoid you but he refused to tell the reason."
"That's quite unusual for him. If he wants you to stay away from me he would have told you about me being the Fourteenth's vessel at that time. I wonder what he's planning…" In which an urgent and important question popped in her mind. Ellen then hastily asked the young man. "Are you…listening to him?"
"Of course I refused. I said to him it was none of his business and I'll judge her by myself either you're good or bad."
Ellen Walker was stunned. The female Exorcist couldn't take her wide and shock filled with stare away from him.
"You…refused him?" Ellen asked in disbelief.
"And I left the room after." The stubbornness in his voice melted to be changed by uneasiness.
The silver haired young woman blinked. "Is that why Komui told you to stay away from him temporarily? To make you safer with…us?"
The euclase eyed young man shrugged. "More or less."
"I can't believe you're deceiving him." Ellen was staring in disbelief. "Not everyone in Black Order can do the same thing."
"Not even you?" Noctis blinked a few times.
"Err, I kind of deceiving him also but not as frontal as yours…" Ellen stopped in the middle of her sentence as she then noticing something. "Wait. When you just got back from there; is that what you have told me that you angered him?"
The chocobo haired young man gave a quick nod. "Yes."
"…If it wasn't because of you're a prince, I would've called you a brave moron." Ellen blurted with awed and disbelief.
"What's that supposed to mean?" He clearly annoyed by got called a brave moron.
"A prince like you is supposed to have meetings or even have acquaintance with nobilities and high ranks, right? Logically you must have already known how to handle them, therefore dealing with Levellier would be easy for you too." Ellen explained with some professionalism that surprisingly she also possessed aside from her kindness and warmth.
"…If you're in my world, Ignis would love having you as a company to discuss." Noctis commented weakly.
Seriously, when Ellen had that look on her face and throw intelligent comment, she kind of reminded him of the glasses wearing man. A little too much reminded him of Ignis even. Well, she was smart indeed. He could see it from her clear and keen-witted mirrored eyes but the way how she reminded him of the spike haired man was creepy enough.
The white haired female Exorcist was looking at him with confused look. "Ignis? Who is that?"
"He's my childhood friend." He explained shortly.
"Oh…" Ellen blinked her eyes and processing the information. "Still, I'm surprised you managed to slip from Levellier. That's kind of unusual for him. I wonder what he has in his mind actually…"
"…Is he really that dangerous?"
"I wouldn't say he's dangerous but he's more like a person who will do anything to make sure humankind is safe even with hazardous method. Komui had made a wise decision in this I have to admit. We can't let you near him by now."The silver eyed young woman brushed her gaze at the clock. "It's already late; Link will be finish his paperwork soon and he will begin to search for me. I have to go but before let's clean the table first." Ellen suggested politely and pulled her hands away carefully from Noctis'.
"I will give you a hand then." Noctis stood up from his chair, ready to give a hand to the silver eyed young woman. "Oh, and Ellen, thank you for the foods. It's very delicious."
Ellen replied him with a thankful smile. "You're welcome." She replied friendly. Ellen liking the way he thanked her. It was fittingly polite and having simplicity for someone who having true identity as prince.
He felt a slight pang of guilt when he saw that smile of her. It was seemingly the smile mirrored her pure kindness and he only burdening her more. "I felt bad for made you brought them all to me." Noctis confessed awkwardly.
"Oh, it's nothing. I'm doing this in my decision and because I want. Nobody is forced me." Ellen retorted rather gently, she shook her head in dismissing manner.
"Then in that case I'll have to make sure to repay your kindness."
"Noctis, I think I've told you before that you don't have to…" She couldn't finish her point as the young man had cut her.
"You did because you want, at least let me do the same for you." Noctis countered back.
"Equivalence Exchange?" The beautiful and slim female Exorcist guessed a bit clueless. Ellen tilted her head. Noctis couldn't help but thought she was cute when tilted her head like that.
"Genuine for friend." The euclase eyed young man corrected.
"…Okay, genuine for a friend then." Ellen decided to close the conversation now. She was too tired to retort anyway. "Let's finish this, shall we?"
"Is it already everything?" Noctis put back the last pile book he lent from Lavi onto the table.
Not far from where he stood, Ellen hummed thoughtfully as she listed all the utensils mentally.
"I think it is already everything." She concluded confidently a moment later. "Thank you for lending me the sink. It really helped me so much."
Cleared the tableware was a one thing but cleaned them of course another thing. Ellen had intended to clean all the utensils by herself so Jerry will not having more additional work. It was actually one of Jerry's jobs to do as a chef and it does quite understandable. He wouldn't mind it at all, the negro man perhaps will take it with enthusiasm. However same thing can't be said to Ellen who felt it doesn't seem to be right for giving back the still dirty utensils. The silver eyed Exorcist took an initiative to clean all the eating utensils by herself and make Jerry's job easier. She felt bad for the fun chef and didn't want to return the utensils without getting them wash before. Ellen had wanted repay Jerry for his delicious foods and the thought about washing the dirty utensils was a good idea. Ellen must asking Noctis at first if she wanted to lend Noctis' sink.
Every room in this HQ designed like a small apartment for convenience, it was no wonder if they even have sink and small kitchen although not every Exorcist use them. Link also used the kitchen when he made a cake for her but it was only that. The blonde Inspector never made anything else aside from cakes. And she can't cook yet. Can't cook in her case meaning she can cook few simple foods but she couldn't make her favorite and complicate foods, another reason why Ellen always going to cafeteria; to eat her favorite mitarashi dango and other excellent foods. A fact only very few knows that Ellen actually can cook, including Link. Hey, the silver eyed young woman was a girl and it is girl's nature to cook so was Ellen. She can make food if she wanted to but then again she can only make simple foods. Back to the story, the revealed prince was gladly allowed her to use his sink as she likes. And Ellen waste no time to clean the plates, cups, forks, and spoons she had in there. Timcanpy even help her by brought the dirty utensils one by one to her. Imagine her satisfy when she accomplice the job and when she saw all those spotless utensils.
"Are you going to give back that basket?" The black spike haired prince glanced toward the basket she held. It contained the clean utensils Ellen had just cleaned up.
The silver eyed young woman's reply was quick enough. "It's Jerry's property. I must return this to him." She replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Why don't you let me do it for you?" He offered with pure sincere.
Ellen tilted her head a bit hesitating. "Are you sure? I'm completely fine with…"
"It's late and you also need your rest. I promise I'll return it to Jerry tomorrow." He convinced her.
"Are you really, really sure? I can do this by myself, it's not the first time I'm doing heavy works." The beautiful silver eyed Exorcist still refused the idea.
"I am certain." Noctis kept insisted. Ellen now sighed and slumped in defeat.
"You're stubborn…" She should've expected this reply was coming from him. She gave the basket in careful gesture. "Just don't forget it to give it back tomorrow."
The short black haired young man nodded reassuringly as he accepted the basket. "You can count on me."
Timcanpy flew back to Ellen's shoulder and stayed in there. Ellen smiled gently and patted the golem in deep affection. "By the way, about our talk tonight…Perhaps we should continue this tomorrow."
Ellen had herself been stared blankly by Noctis. "Tomorrow?" He repeated.
"Yes, tomorrow." The white haired female Exorcist confirmed and soon her silver eyes narrowed. "Are you intending to tell me the rest of the story next month?" Ellen asked back flatly.
"Of course not!" Noctis blanched.
Ellen was nodding in full satisfaction. Although she didn't smiling however the lively and laughing twinkle within her silver eyes said otherwise. "Well see you at tomorrow then."
"Ellen, before you go can I ask you a favor?"
She stared at his figure for few more seconds before she nodded, gesturing him to continue.
"Yes?" Ellen asked shortly.
"Please don't tell anyone about this yet. I…" The euclase eyed young man took a deep and shaky breath and ruffled his hair desperately. "I want to explain it to them by myself when the time is right."
Ellen stared as if he had grown extra tail behind him. Not too long after however, the silver eyed female Exorcist huffed exasperatedly. No wonder Etro said there was a similarity between them. Both of them can be very stubborn and determinate when they had taken an important decision, never mind with the ordinary ones. When they want to do something, nothing will and can stop them. Ellen herself didn't mind the young man wanted to stay quiet for temporary. He needed a time to brave enough to tell this to them since he wasn't ready yet. Ellen understood him because she to, also experienced a similar situation like him. And yet, she was hoping Noctis will keep his promise for his own good, her and her friends' sake.
"Alright, I'll keep this as a temporary secret. However you better do that for real and soon." Ellen reminded the young man. She then remembered that tomorrow all the Exorcists will have a spar session. It was a perfect time to talk in secret. "I know the right place to do a conversation. Let's meet at training ground. We, the Exorcists have spar session on the afternoon. We will talk when we're finish and once there's no one around us."
"It's only happening if Link bury in his paperwork to the point that if there's a person try to open the door should his room locked, there will be a paperwork flood attacking him or her." Noctis responded instantly.
Ellen wasn't supposed to found it funny. She didn't suppose to laugh at Link. The braided blonde already did so much for her despite the fact he was her guard. Yes, he did annoying, stoic, and bland sometimes for being Inspector Levellier's liegeman to her especially. And yet, while he did irk her at some point he still has his good side attached with him, in which he had showed and opened to her later. While he indeed looked indifferent and stoical, inside he was a nice young man with great responsibility. If she wanted to point few examples, in one or two occasions he will secretly give her a delicious small pie or cake as a gift. Or when the Noah named Lulubell attacked the old HQ, he tended her wounds and went as far to carrying her to the infirmary for further treatment. Perhaps the appropriate word to describe him is he was a young man who didn't talk much and doing his duty obediently without asking many questions. The other good thing from him, he showed her some care and concern although he wouldn't admit it openly. He may be a bit weird but nice none less. But it happened in instant. Ellen put her hand on her mouth and had to restraining the laughter which started threatening to explode in any second. In which it resulted her cheeks puffed like a balloon and red from resisting the laugh.
"…～!" Her whole body shook violently from the laughter and although she did resist the laugh at her best, the laughter was still keep coming and slipped from her mouth in form as giggle. Tears started to gathering in her eyes.
The euclase eyed young man blinked dumbly. "Uh, is it supposed to be funny?"
"Y-you…" Ellen accused between her giggle. She gasped a bit to get some air. "You just…t-throw a joke, haven't you realize that…!?"
Noctis blinked. You see, he didn't mean to throw a joke to her. "That's counted as a joke?"
"If it's not a joke then I wouldn't be laughing now!" The silver eyed female Exorcist yelled, now her giggle broke into laughter and her body shook even harder than before. "You're evil! I've never thought you're capable of making joke like that…!"
"I'm sorry but I didn't quite catch your idea here…"
Ellen had to cease her laughter at first before she can start her explanation. It wasn't an easy job to do, not when she laughed for quite long. Her stomach now hurt and numb from the laughter.
She still had that amused smile when she began to tell the clueless young man. "He's having an unofficial affiliation with rules and paperwork since he's Levellier's administrative assistant, especially with paperwork. And now you made a joke about him get buried in his own paperwork…" Ellen let her sentence hanging on the air, intended for letting Noctis processed this information all by himself.
"Ah…" A realization had struck him. He had making fun Link without he realized it, a mistake he shouldn't have done. His face went pale at the revelation. "Ah, sorry about that, I shouldn't have―"
"Don't mention it," The slim Exorcist raised her hand just in time to prevent him from apologizing. She chuckled amusedly. "Just don't mention it in front of him; otherwise the case will be different."
Ellen glanced at the clock once more. "I better get out from here," She motioned the golden golem to come with her. "Timcanpy come on, we're going back!"
The golem took a glance between its master and the young man for briefly before it gazing back toward Ellen. It flapped its wing and stretching them widely. Timcanpy took off from the bed and flew to her side. The grayish silver eyed young woman was smiling widely. She patted the golem with her forefinger gently.
"We'll going to see him again. Don't worry; he isn't going anywhere, right?"
Noctis could only nod in response.
Ellen then turned her body halfway so she could still see him. She also didn't forget to give a slight, polite bow. "Good night and force yourself too much."
"Good night for you too." Noctis greeted back in equal politeness.
"And don't sleep too late or I'll have you knock out by myself. I'm going to check you later." Her previous smile went gone as she added sternly and slightly scolding him like a mother would do to her naughty child. As if to make her point more valid she was letting out a massive and dangerous aura, enough massive for the short black haired young man to sensing it. It successfully made him nervous at the least.
"…Yes, Ma'am." The young man replied shakily. Sweats of bullets were running down on the back of his head. She was really scary when she in mother hen mode. There was no use countering her when she has come into a full decision.
Almost immediately after, the stern expression she wore softened and it was changing into a very satisfied smile.
"That's a good thing to hear coming from you." She nodded contentedly; completely satisfied that he does obey her and didn't give any resistance like before. He knew that Ellen obviously serious and he have to think twice before oppose her. Now she didn't need to worry about him being reckless as long as she's watching the considered reckless young man.
In which made Noctis left eye twitched in incredulity. Just since when she act like this to him and since when she took care of him like a mother hen to her only child?
The Room of Sacred Frozen Words a.k.a Royalty Library…
The Royalty Library was one from few restricted places within the palace. It said restricted not without a logical reason. The library considered as forbidden by most of people since it held knowledge, secrets, and long history regarding Lucis Kingdom and its royal family. There were thousands of books stored in here from hundred years ago until today. Some of them even not published and not meant to read by citizens. In other words, there were also books which written by Lucis line ancestors in form of journals and parchments. This is the reason why it restricted. The library room has hideous space in order to keep and secure all of those said to be window of knowledge. The room shaped square and had high ceilings with many windows and simple looking yet modern chandeliers. Unlike the rest of the rooms within this palace, the library dominated by white, crème, brown, dark brown, and a bit of red colors. There was even simple fireplace at the corner of the room. Red comfy carpets covered most of the brown colored floor, tables and chairs neatly placed with table lamps. Overall, this room looked like a comfortable place if only there was a strict rule that those with Lucis line and those who given huge trust by king and his family, can enter this place.
In this very same library, three certain best friends were stuck within. They sat at their respective chairs while at each of their hands, a book opened and revealed either white or yellow pages with neat writing. Not to far from their side, piles of books were standing like mini mountains. Gladiolus, having his eyes tried already from reading and reading, try to gain some information, broke his gaze away from the opening pages and rubbed his light chocolate colored eyes. He stole a glance at his other company.
"Ignis, have you find out something useful in there?"
"Not yet." Ignis replied absentmindedly before he skidded to the next page. "I must say it's not an easy task to find information about transported people to unknown place. How about your own, Glad?"
The scarred man sighed frustratingly and shook his head. "Same with you. Got nothing so far."
At the other side, Prompto closed the book with obvious fatigue written all over his usual cheerful face. There were black circles just beneath his eyes, indicating that he lacked of sleep.
"Me too!" Prompto groaned audibly and holding his head with of his hands. "And we've been in here for only Etro knows how long it is～! My neck is hurt and I rarely having my sleep inside this library!"
"Shut up, Prompto." Gladiolus rolled his eyes as he slammed shut the book he had been read. He put it back along with the other books at the table. "You're not the only one who feeling tired in here…"
In which, if one took further notice, the long haired man was also having the similar black circles beneath his eyes. They weren't noticeable like Prompto's but he still had them. His dark long hair kind of untidy, he almost had no time to brush them, not when their friend was still missing and the kingdom still in hectic situation.
"I know," The blonde sharpshooter's head hung with frustration. "But it's frustrating me, Glad. How we are going to get back Noct when we still hasn't find a way to find him…!? We've been reading and searching all over and we found nothing useful this far."
Gladiolus sighed in suffering manner. He glanced at his bespectacled friend.
"How's Cor? Is he doing alright?"
For once, Ignis lifted up his head from the book he had been read. Despite the professional attitude he kept intact, the scarred man could see the not so hidden concern emotion within his blue eyes.
"Not good, although he doesn't show it, he had been thrown a fit when that attack happened. Even worsened once he knew the news about Noctis disappearance." Ignis replied quietly. "Now he's looking through our security system over and over again, he didn't want the same thing happen again. He had to make sure our defense is perfect in case we're under attack…again."
Gladiolus face palmed at this information. "He must he very occupied by now since he's the head of royal family guards. I just hope he doesn't force himself too much. We already are having so much tension and work until this week."
Gladiolus pitied the older man but he chose not to show it to him. He knew well how the older man didn't like it. He saw him once at this morning and he even knew the older man had been a mess to the point the scarred man had to persuade him to rest for few hours.
"While he's a very hard headed man; he will not force himself too much, not when the Lucis Kingdom is in high alert. Let Cor handle the palace security for us, he can do it without our help. We have another thing to do and we must keep our head cool." Ignis pointed out. "There's nothing we can finish properly when ones frustrate."
Prompto's shoulders slumped and his youthful face's saddened. Suddenly, the sharpshooter blonde was loosing his usual cheerfulness, only to be replaced by gloom aura in which didn't match with his natural. It was even his natural at all; the short haired blonde was their mood maker and he rarely gloomy. And usually he never lasted this long. The fact his friend went missing without a trace had hit him hard and so were Ignis, Cor, and Gladiolus.
"I'm very worried about Noct…" He voiced up his concern. "And King's too. I swear he's looked older and more tired in one of these days…"
But the most worrisome from this was the King himself, Regis. He got the hardest impact from all of the people. Just like Prompto said, he looked older by few years, he wasn't eating like before to the point the maids and the butlers concerned for his health. At last, he became more difficult to be approach, not even Ignis who was as close as Alfred, both Regis and Noctis's driver, can meet him as easily as before. King Regis had been busied himself with meetings in here and there. He did so in order to get rid his anxiousness for his son. He must be wanted to find his child by his own however he couldn't due to his position as a king. He forced to protect and prioritized this kingdom before his son. And yet he remained strong albeit he has complete faith on his son, his main heir.
"There has to be a way. There must be…" Ignis, who had been quiet all day, for the first time was responding tiredly.
He closed the book with careful gesture and placed it along with the pile of the books he read. Although ones would think that he kept his emotion under control, Prompto and Gladiolus knew too well the bespectacled man was actually as same as worry and agitate with them. His clothes crumpled and he also had the same black circles underneath his eye bags despite the glasses frame he wore. He didn't wear his black jacket as he put it at the chair and he had his white sleeve rolled up to elbow. Even his calm face was growing hard as he adjusted his glasses absentmindedly.
"It must be hidden in somewhere in here." The spiky haired man said calmly. "Any information concerned the Great Crystal's ability had been recorded thoroughly before get keep in the royalty library and will never leave this place. Few of them got hidden for centuries. I'd say the ancestors did a remarkable job on hiding them, I wonder where they are…"
It was at that time a growl echoed through the library. An awkward silence formed within that library. Both the bespectacled man and the scarred man were turning their head at the same time, they found themselves stared blankly at the blushed sharpshooter. The younger man started to chuckle in nervous manner as he put a hand at his stomach as Ignis and Gladiolus continue to stare at him. They didn't need to find out what was that growl voice coming from.
"Sorry! I'm hungry…" Prompto still chuckled nervously and in order to save himself from unwanted position, he quickly changing the topic. His tone was hopeful and desperate sounded. "Want to eat something first before continue the research, perhaps?" The blonde cringed slightly.
"Prompto…" Gladiolus could only shake his head at his friend antics.
"It's late. And we missed the dinner time too." Ignis looked at the ticking wall clock thoughtfully. He made a frown on his stern face. "And without eating properly, we don't have much strength or energy to use…"
The scarred man was scratching his head. "Guess with the whole fiasco we're doing today, time is seemingly passed too quickly. Heh, wish we should've asked the maids to make some foods earlier…"
"Is that an agreement or a rejection, instead?" The sharpshooter chirped.
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean…?" The next moment later, the blonde squawked and had his head locked on Gladiolus' strong arm.
"Akh! Stop it…! You're choking me to death!" Prompto gasped as he tapped the older man continuingly. "Let me go, Glad!"
Gladiolus laughed heartily and yet his grip on the sharpshooter still firm as ever.
"Nope!" He replied playfully in which it successfully made the blonde gaped in horror.
Ignis had to cracking a small smile at the hilarious scene. Now thinking about it, it has been a while since he felt this relax. Perhaps Prompto had a point. They had too much tension to bear with and a little rest become crucial matter in the middle of their duties and business. It shouldn't be hurt if they take a break from 6 hours almost nonstop reading.
"Gladiolus, as much as it looks amusing, can you release the poor guy?" The bespectacled man requested with amusement.
Gladiolus gave a toothy grin.
"No prob', Ig." The scarred man then set the blonde free from his headlock. Prompto coughed a few times and sending a glare at his grinning bulky friend.
"Geez, you're squishing me…!" Prompto complained.
"Your own fault, anyway." Gladiolus countered nonchalantly without any sig of guilty.
"You're impossible! Why it always have to be me…?!"
"Go figure it by yourself."
"You're really impossible…!"
"Aren't you the same thing, Prompto? You're always giving bad samples to Noct if not mostly."
"See? You even admit it."
While it was an amusement sign, Ignis had to cough a few times so he has their attention and they can start their work. "Okay Gentlemen, let's bring these books to their respective original place at first and then we can go eat."
At instant, Prompto's scowl suddenly changed drastically into a shiny and goofy grin. He was too happy to acknowledge that they are going to take a break which became a luxury in one of these days. So he did what he always does to show his contagious happiness, he jumped around as he was throwing his fist upward.
"Yes! You're the best, Ignis…!"
"From where should we start from?" Gladiolus glanced at the brown and spike haired man.
"Those ones will do since they're belonging to the lowest bookcase and make them the easiest to clean up." Ignis pointed at a few pile of books near Prompto.
Prompto immediately bent down and take one pile as he chirped dutifully. "Roger!"
"Be careful. Those books age's are centuries older than you, damage it and you'll have a big trouble..." The older man was reminding Prompto before the blonde will make some unnecessary catastrophes and they had to clean his mess…
It wasn't like Ignis has bad view for the cheerful blonde but Prompto tends to have troubles being pulled to him. In rare events, Prompto was in fact can become worse case than Noctis. The blond haired sharpshooter was a living trouble magnet, both literally and practically. If he didn't careful enough, those problems will come to him soon before he even realizes it yet. And at some occasions Noctis also got involved within even he wasn't a part of it from the very beginning. This is the very reason why Ignis, Gladiolus, and Cor always staying near them as a group. Those can cause much trouble despite the fact they didn't want it and trying to stay out of it, let alone cause it. Promto just show the spike haired man a toothy and reassuring grin. Really, that young man was too cheerful and enthusiasm overwhelmed him right now. And Ignis began to having this odd feeling that something is going to happen soon. Something that equated with what people always called as catastrophe.
"You're worry to much, you know too well that I'll never break these―" Much to they misfortune, Prompto tripped at something, and the next second was a chain reaction of disasters.
BAAAM! BRAK! BRUK!
He fell toward the nearest bookcase and hitting hard against its oak wood. The pile of books he carried flew defying the gravity for a moment before it fell back to the earth and crashed the blonde's body. As if to make it even worse than before, the bookcase that Prompto hit shook violently and sooner various books immediately fell from their respective place and raining the poor Prompto. Old, new, thin, thick, small, big, every book was falling onto the top of the blonde, instantly buried him alive under hundreds of books. And of course it went through with immense pain. Prompto have to got hit few times in everywhere in his part of limbs. Mainly his head was the main target along with his face and stomach if you counted them also.
"OWWW―! OUUCH―!" He shouted in pain between the rains of books before they completely buried him.
The blonde tried to shield his face from the oncoming impacts but it seems his attempt was avail. Than God, a few moments later the whole chaos finally stopped for good. Once the ruckuss had ended and it was completely safe to move around, both the spike haired man and the scarred man decided to check on their blond haired friend.
"Prompto!" Ignis and Gladiolus ran hurriedly toward their friend's place and kneeling to the each side.
"Prompto, hey!" Gladiolus called his friend's name. His hands were removing the fallen books away from the blonde. "Are you okay in there? Is anything hurt…!?"
"Ow, ow, ouch…" The blonde winced and started to hiss in pain. His left eye twitched violently. "My forehead hurts. I got bumped to the bookcase, hard."
"I have told you to be careful. Eager is okay but if you're sloppy, you can hurt yourself plus damaging books, just like now."
"I'm not being eager! I swear I'm being careful!"
"Man, now we have more work to do," Gladiolus quandary scratched his head; his black colored eyes were looking at the fallen books scattered around. "Most of the books from this section have fallen because of the hit."
"It'll take quite time to tidy up all of them with the other books we still left at the study tables…" Ignis was looking around their surround. He took out his glasses and pinching his nose as gentle as he could.
"Perhaps we should call a day." Gladiolus suggested. "As much as we want to find Noct, we still need our proper rest once a while."
"What do we do now, then?" Prompto hesitantly asked.
"Well, isn't it obvious? We have to start cleaning from this one thanks because of the blonde over there."
"Hey! I have said that I'm sorry, alright…!?" Prompto yelled out of his embarrassment.
"If you two had finished, can you give me a hand in here?" Ignis sighed miserably since they now have more lists to do. "Let's finish this as soon as possible. And Prompto…?"
The blonde flinched and took a glance from the corner of his eyes.
"Yes?" He answered weakly, anticipating at whatever the bluish green eyed man want to say.
"Please watch your feet this time. I don't want you to get trip for the second time and crush another bookcase. Do you hear me…?" The spike haired man told him quietly yet firmly.
The sharpshooter blonde's head slumped dejectedly. He knew it from his own experience. There was no way he could escape this. Ignis was serious and he wouldn't dare disobey his order or he will have the consequence.
"Yes, sir…" Prompto mumbled his answer meekly.
"Is this just me, or trouble is always like to follow you everywhere until recently?" Gladiolus wondered.
Prompto grumbled under his breath. "At least I'm more than willing to take the responsibility."
"Time to work, Prompto." Ignis reminded the blonde. Prompto winched slightly.
"Understood." The blonde started to work, gathering the books around him. He didn't want to add more problem than this. He had enough and he didn't want to have Ignis' wrath onto him. Surprisingly, when the sharpshooter seemed like a lazy type person, he can work fairly fast and quickly once he had dedicated.
"Here, let me help." Gladiolus decided to lend a hand. The bulky man was gathering the fallen books into a pile and put them back with surprisingly tenderness and gentleness he possessed despite his strong guy image.
Ignis drew an inaudible sigh and ran his hand through his spike, brown colored hair.
"…?" Ignis blinked owlishly behind his glasses.
He lowered his head down toward his feet, spotting a rolling paper with binding around it and a sealing insignia made from some kind of thick and red colored wax. It seems he kicked the sealing accidentally.
Blinking once more, he bent down and took the paper into his hand. His greenish blue eyes scanned the paper he held before him as he stood up very slowly.
It's a parchment.
And it's a very old one judged from the color of its paper. The paper colored in dull yellow signaling how old this parchment was. Both of its edges were also torn from the age as well. Other than that, the parchment is quite maintained and having no other visible damages. Ignis narrowed his eyes as he eyed the rolled piece of paper. He knew there were probably hundreds of parchments similar like this being kept inside this library. This one may perhaps also one of them. But the spike haired man then noticed something else.
This one had the most ancient insignia symbol on its paper. He recognized it from the simple yet regal looking angel with small orb of light on her left hand and lotus flower on her right hand, symbol which was drawing in the small seal. Each kingdom owned their own original insignia in order to indentify their kingdom with others for the main purpose. It can be also served as the royal's family crest. Lucis Kingdom have a great lake and have several rivers scattered around them thus Lucis Kingdom have an angel with light orb and lotus as a kingdom's symbol and also family crest. Angel to representing the surname of Caelum since both can be the symbolic for heaven, the orb of light to representing the Lucis line and their kingdom, while lotus representing the divinity, a sign that the Lucis line were chosen to accept the blessed gift from Etro herself; the Great Crystal, the perfect symbol of divinity. The lotus also representing the nature around Lucis Kingdom too, for not only they have a lots of lake and river either small or big and they always have those lotus flower grow at all over the lake or the river's border. Strangely, the lotus always colored in pure white. They have pink, red, purple, yellow, even blue lotus existing in their world but only in Lucis Kingdom you can see white lotus, you can't see it on another place or another kingdom for its endemic nature.
He had saw and came across with various parchments within this library while he was looking for any information regarding the Great Crystal…
But not this one, that's for certainly.
The bespectacled man snapped his head on the bookshelf which Prompto crashed at. He wanted to make sure something. His suspicion proved by the time he spotted a small man made hole inside the bookshelf. One wouldn't see it since it hidden by the books very well. And it opened from the earlier crash. Intriguingly, his attention back to the paper he was holding. Ignis untied the seal which bound the said parchment. Once the parchment freed from its bindings the spike haired man was rolling opened the yellowish paper ever so slowly so he didn't damage the precious treasure and inheritance from the long, forgotten past. It was a part from Lucis' property and it was one of his duties to keep and protect them. The parchment written in Latinum, the fact he found quite normal since Latinum is the first language they used since the ancient time followed by Iaponica which appeared hundreds years later and became more popular with most civilizations around the world. There are few languages beside those two but Iaponica and Latinum are the most popular from all languages. But let's continue about these languages on another time. We're talking about this mysterious parchment. Feeling extremely curious, Ignis waste no time to read the parchment.
His blue eyes scanned carefully the words scripted at the fragile paper. Soon his attention quickly being focused at what the parchment wrote about. The more he read it, the more he becomes intrigued. He continued to read the contents…
…Until he found a piece of information which was astonish him and had his eyes almost bulged from their eye sockets. He went re-read it once more to make sure he didn't misread them due to fatigue or perhaps he hallucinated from the same cause. But contradicted with what he feared, the information inside still the same. He didn't misread them nor was he being hallucinated. Ignis almost disbelieved with what he just found. Of course since the parchment written long time ago, he had no guarantee to prove this information indeed correct or not. But their time is thickened and any choice would be running out. They had to find as many ways as possible. And if the information within the old roll of paper was holding truth…
"Gladiolus, Prompto." The spike haired man called his friends as he wasn't letting his greenish blue eyes from the parchment.
He was more than willing to risk it. It's doesn't matter to him, it's worthy enough to try better than not to.
"What?" Gladiolus replied with slight wonder. He was helping Prompto tidied up the books back into the bookshelves.
"You better get here and see this." Ignis voice somehow becomes deadly serious.
The sharpshooter and the bulky man stared frowningly at each other.
"Why? Is there something…?" Prompto walked toward the spike haired man. When he got close enough then he saw the yellowish scroll in Ignis' possession. "What parchment is that? It looks old and smelled funny like an old man…"
"It must be the parchment from the true ancestors of Lucis line. Look, despite how old the parchment is, his name is still can be read clearly. It's written in here." Ignis showed them the bottom part from the ancient parchment.
"…'Marius Lucis Caelum'?" Gladiolus raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Wasn't he the first ancestor from Lucis line of royalty and the founder of Lucis Kingdom?"
"He's also one of the first humans who possessed the Great Crystal." Ignis sent his cool yet determined glance back at the parchment. His tone was confident and filled with resolution. "And I think I've found something very useful within this parchment which we might have been looking for."
Gladiolus and Prompto were stunned with this news.
"Ignis," The blonde started very slowly. "Is that means…?"
The bespectacled man nodded his head affirmatively. There was unbelievable amount of firmness and new gained hope behind his greenish blue eyes.
"Yes. If what the parchment's written is provide the truth, then this old thing is containing information regarding one of the Great Crystal's abilities…"
"To send a person into another world…"
"Only that which evil…?"
A deep and unknown voice was echoing darkly through the darkness surrounded her form.
Ellen narrowed her eyes in incredulous. She tried to see despite the dark in front of her eyes. That was strange. Why she couldn't see anything? And why all the dreams she had recently has to be like this at the beginning? Honestly, she started to hate it, this total darkness of nothing. That and somehow she had a feeling that this time entirely different from all the pervious dreams she had which pretty much harmless. This one screamed something is amiss and she was about to face something unpleasant now.
"Why, then, are you such in pain…?"The same voice she heard from before echoed through the air around her, this time it sneered and has mocking tone underneath.
Before she could process what was going on in here, something else had beaten her first. It happened for per second, too fast to her dislike for nasty surprise, there was a flash and blinding light came onto her eyes. She had to shut her eyes tightly as she felt some pain and burn sensation not only on her eyes but also on her upper body. She has to bite her shout of pain, trying to resist the intense pain she felt. It's so hurt until she can't move her body not even she can move her fingers since they went so numb. She even tasted the copper smelled liquid in her mouth along with the pain she received. Once the light and the pain don't feel hurt anymore, the young woman breathed harshly. She did her best to gather back her strength. It wasn't an easy thing to do, not when the great pain flared on her body especially from her right chest onto her lower abdomen. No matter how hard she ignored the pain, the pain itself was so intense that she still can feel the most of it. She wondered what had happened to her. Panting and gasping for some air, once she had her strength back onto her, she opened her silver eyes in great anticipation, only to saw the scene she wasn't expected.
There Ellen Walker was standing with her Exorcist uniform, found herself with unbelievable sign in form the Blade of Exorcism stabbed her and instantly pinning her onto the wall of stone behind her. Blood flowed freely from the wide stab wound by the huge sword. From her dark pink lips, a small trail of blood was flowing out. Her silver eyes widened in shock and terror and frantically, she turned her head around her surrounding. She stood in some kind of desolate place with damaged skyscrapers and other modern like tall buildings as far eye can see. Far above there, at the sky mixture by various colors of yellow, orange and red, a huge symbol similar with odd sign like a cross floated and glowed brightly in dark yellow color. It existed as if it's replacing the sun's absence on that place. At the first glance, that place looked like New York City from the design of the destroyed skyscrapers but Ellen wasn't sure herself.
'Where…am I…?' Ellen looked so troubled. Where was she been actually and why was she in here at the first place? Her thoughts had to be cut as the same mockingly voice echoed again.
"Foolish child…did you truly believe that a body that is host to the Fourteenth could be free of sin? Is it not you who has saved that tainted souls of mankind, but the Left Hand of God."It said with sarcastic. "Yours is a soul in need of salvation."
At that very moment, Ellen finally realized. At that very moment, Ellen finally understood why she was stuck in this ridiculous place at the first place. It was a simple answer and she already didn't like it. With that, she started to feeling annoyed and pissed off.
'Oh…I see. This is a dream.' Her left eye twitched violently.
'Not a very nice one, either…' She thought unhappily. A vein was visible on her forehead and it throbbed violently to respond her displeasure, and she sighed irritatingly.'Wake up…wake up…Please wake me up from this stupid dream…'
" 'Ellen'!" A voice called her name as she mused. Ellen broke from whatever she had been mused about. Her whole body was completely frozen as if it made from ice sculpture.
But it was impossible…, Ellen thought in disbelief. He had long gone ever since that fateful day…
She saw it with her own eyes. She destroyed his Akuma form with her left, parasitic arm. She remember how he said that he loved her when she about to destroy him. She can never forget it, that fateful day. The day when Earl came to her and told her she could bring Mana back. Moved by despair and wanting to see her father again, she brought Mana back to life in Akuma form, only to made him mad to her and attacked her viciously, trying to kill her thus injured her left eye in the process. Her Innocence went activated all of sudden and finally killed Mana in that cursed form, setting him free once more and with him told her he loved her.
But here he is.
Stood a few meters away from her, Mana was in his clown attire and smiling widely. His right hand pointed out to a direction and the clown stepped closer happily like he always does in the past, asked the stupefied Ellen Walker.
"What are you doing standing around being impaled like that, 'Ellen' ?"He said with twinkle in his dark colored eyes, still with that wide smile.
Ellen stared unblinkingly with those eyes. Her dark pink lips gaped slightly at the disbelieving event. How could she not…? This is Mana we're talking about, he supposed passed away and rest in peace in far, faraway heaven just like the silver eyed young woman had believed. And yet…
He stood before her, energetic, cheerful, warm, and he was smiling like he always did as a clown back there when she traveled together with him.
Mana jumped over and over again as he kept pointing at one direction while his other hand thrust toward her and opened as if he had been waiting for her all of this time to come with him, called her name with that deep yet vigorously voice Ellen started to miss so much.
"Come on 'Elle*'…hurry up! There's somebody waiting for you!" The clown exclaimed.
Ellen only did few blinks of devastation and completely disbelief. Almost immediately, the devastation changed by something else. The happiness of seeing her beloved foster father sprung and it grew almost unstoppable, her heart started to beat faster. They sounded so loud in Ellen's ears but it doesn't matter for her now. Her focus only at the waving clown before her, her beloved and dearly father. A father she was missing and yearning for years and she didn't even forget a bit.
'Ma…na?' The snow haired female Exorcist called mentally.
"They've been waiting for you all of this time 'E****'!" The clown said cheerfully as he offered his hand. "Come on!"
'He's smiling…just look at that.'Still half disbelieving her own eyes, Ellen raised her own hand slowly, reaching for Mana's hand and trying to hold onto it.
'I take back that last statement.' Her right hand stretched out.
'This is a nice dream…'
Her small hand (since when was her hand becoming small? But ah, it doesn't matter for her. She met Mana again. Isn't it clear?) took Mana's bigger and stronger yet gentle hand. Ellen noticed the sleeve she wore not her uniform anymore but her old clown's attire she had long abandoned. That's when Ellen noted that somehow she back to her form when she was still a little girl. Mana looked toward her direction and the clown smiled gently, curled his fingers around her small hand and leading her away. He then pointed again at a direction, signaled they will go in there together. Ellen laughed happily and clenched Mana hand a little tighter, she didn't want to lose him anymore. She didn't want to lose that hand which hold onto her and keeping her safe. It doesn't matter to her if this was indeed only a dream. She didn't care anymore about it. Ellen has been too happy to think anything but meeting and go with Mana.
"Hurry up…hurry up '*****'."Mana started jogging in medium phase with Ellen being kept near him.
"Hey, Mana…!" The now little girl yelped in surprise.
There was a bullet of sweat appeared behind her head as she nearly tripped on her feet before she gained back her balance.
The little girl had to fasten her steps so she could follow his wide steps ahead.
Once she could equate her own pace with Mana, Ellen laughed once more.
This time Mana also laughed with her as he was leading her somewhere.
She was very, very happy.
But there was one thing disturbed her ever slightly.
'My name is not '*****', call me Ellen, would you?'
She couldn't hear her name spelled clearly by Mana.
Ellen couldn't hear what he said but it was obvious he didn't call her by her name.
She just knew it.
It puzzled her none less but her happiness overpowering it.
She wanted him to call her Ellen.
Ellen wanted him to call her…
In a beautiful morning as the warm sunrays snuck through the windows.
In a room from the corridor that housed Exorcists, a pair of silver eyes fluttered slightly and slowly opening from a deep slumber.
A night before she had just got a fever and once braided blonde discovered this, he wouldn't take 'no' as an answer as he insisted the silver head Exorcist to sleep and take some medicine. Despite her insist about being able taking care of her own, the blonde refused to hear it as he still standing with his points. Rather than a fever, it was actually a high temperature caused by extreme fatigue and possibility continuous of stress. An understatement since at the same night, the young woman learned a rather unbelievable discovery about the young man who has staying with her more than three weeks. It was a shock for her who later leant that the young man actually a real prince. Yep. A real prince of enclosed kingdom. Who would've thought such position held by the sky blue eyed young man.
The young woman doubted even Levellier would have guessed this, let alone Komui and the rest of her friends, well except Lenalee and may be Miranda too, that's it if they ever realize. Ellen almost had a though to blame Lenalee for this, the keyword is almost. Somehow the purple eyed young woman's words could become true sometimes; this event wasn't an exception either. Not to mention they did a long conversation and she washed all those utensils, her fatigues finally give in. As a result, she got forced to sleep in her bed under the blonde's strict watch as the latter tended her. He went as far as prioritized the girl first than his paperwork. It made the fatigued young woman extremely bad for him but the blonde shrugged the matter rather easily and stated that he can sign them later. Sometimes, he was acting too much like a protective older brother to his younger sister rather than an observer with the one his should guarded.
There was a cool and wet cloth placed above her forehead, the dampness on the cloth signified the said cloth just had been soaked into a small basin filled with cold and fresh water on the table. Someone had just soaked the cloth a moment ago. It might be our favorite braided blonde, it might be someone else. No sounds of heavy footsteps or the sound of moving pen above the paper inside that room, a give dead away sign for Howard Link's presence. But it wasn't what we focused at now. We focused at something else. We were focusing to the silver eyed young woman who happened to woke up.
And there was something peculiar with her.
What was more importantly, something strange has happening with Ellen Walker…
And it wasn't a good sign to begin with.
Her usual silver eyes now clouded and hazy instead the clear grayish silver. Due to her brief fever, the snow white haired female Exorcist only wore a black tank top and her pajama pants so she wasn't swelter from her fever. Despite she shouldn't be swelter by that kind of clothes, sweats still coming from her upper body profusely. On her body, the huge scar she got from her previous mission throbbed quite hard for a moment and the scar went more visible for some reason.
The next throb finally made the young woman up from her bed in slow phase. Her movements slid the blanket off from her body and the cloth fell from her forehead onto her lap. The same movements also woke up the sleeping golden golem named as Timcanpy near her. Last night, when Ellen had to stay on the bed with that high temperature body of her, the loyal golem also accompanied Link taking care of her until she's healthy back. It had been a long night for the golden colored golem too, it just managed to sleep few hours ago after Link went to do his paperwork. With one of its wings, Timcanpy rubbed its sleepy and teary, none existing eyes almost in lazy manner. It was an obvious sign that the golem hadn't fully woke up yet. Still tired and sleepy, Timcanpy tilted its head toward its current master, wondering if the silver eyed young woman wants to go to the bathroom or something along with the line.
...Only to seeing that it stared at a frightening sign before the golem. The white haired female Exorcist indeed had awake from her sleep.
…But it wasn't Ellen herself who did open her eyes.
It was someone else who took a control of Ellen Walker's body.
Her soft and straight hair now went down in wavy locks. Her gentle and filled with kindness eyes now exchanged with sharp and emotionless eyes. Her usually expressive face now looked emotionless as if she was a living doll. She looked as if she was another person completely, not the sweet and kind Ellen Walker we do know.
Timcanpy frozen on its place, it eyed fixed on its master.
Time seemed to be frozen.
Everything suddenly stopped the moment it knew the person before it in fact not its master but someone else.
This person before it…
This person wasn't its dearest Ellen at all.
This person wasn't Ellen the golem knew.
This person definitely wasn't Ellen Walker.
This person somehow used her body for a reason.
The golem didn't know why but the golem figured that this person used its master's body without doubt.
And the most shockingly from all of it…
Timcanpy had an idea who this person was.
For a tension filled with second, her empty eyes glanced toward the golden golem, their stare meet each other.
The golem stance became more tensed when their glance collided.
It wasn't happened for long though.
Another movement followed by a few shuffled sounds was coming from beside where the silver haired young woman's stayed on her bed. It was another bed where Link usually sleep; now there was someone else above that bed none other than Lenalee Lee, one of Ellen's best friends and could be considered as older sister since the green haired young woman a year older than her. It looks like the older female Exorcist slept on the Inspector's bed long enough. A few bandages also visible on her cheek, and leg, it wasn't hard to assumed the green haired girl had just returned from a mission and got injured as a result from fighting a group of Akuma. It didn't take a genius brain to guess this female Exorcist had been in fatigue from her latest mission and fell into a sleep as soon as she hit the comfy bed while she was waiting the silver eyed female Exorcist and her fellow to wake up. Should we look closer, her hands still wet a bit from the water. Apparently, she was the one who washed the cloth.
"Are you awake? Oh dear…it looks like I dozed off on the Inspector's bed…" Lenalee laughed nervously as she was rubbing the back of her neck. "I guess I shouldn't have come to see how you are after my mission, huh?"
"How's your condition? Are you feeling any better?" She continued innocently, staring at her dearly friend.
That was when the snow haired young woman snapped back onto herself.
Her previous dark gaze changed abruptly into her usual gentle and kind gaze.
Few seconds passed with odd silence.
Frowned, Ellen blinked rapidly her lively silver colored eyes a few times.
"…Lenalee?" Ellen stared confusedly.
What Lenalee was doing in here? Is she visiting or something? If so, then why she didn't wake her up? She can't just barging in and staying without telling her…
In which speaking about staying, where is Link anyway? She realized there was no sign of him in this room.
Before Ellen could ask the green haired Exorcist, an angry shout had beaten her first.
"LENALEE LEE! IF YOU'RE AWAKE THEN GET OUT HERE…!" A harsh shout suddenly came from the outside.
The silver eyed young woman blinked again in confusion before she took an initiative and took a peek to outside. There, she found a furious Link stood near the chair. He also had this bunch of paperwork tucked with him too. Perhaps the new one since she didn't spotted any paperwork he did last night on his own table. He looked pretty pissed off for some reason she didn't know why. Ellen couldn't help but to staring confusedly at the fuming braided blonde.
"What are you doing, Link?" Ellen eyed both the chair and the furious blonde. It seems he had been in there for long enough.
"Eh? Don't tell me you've been waiting out here the whole time…?" Lenalee gasped in bewilderment.
Link ignored the innocent question, he was too furious to care about it. In fact he continued his rants toward the green haired young woman.
"Even I cannot be expected to do any work in a room with a lady in such an immodest state…! If you obstruct my work like this again, I will be raising a formal complaint, Lenalee Lee!"
Ellen glanced at her green haired friend in disbelief and followed with problematical expression.
"You slept in his bed?" She asked slowly, half expected the Chinese young woman would deny it and said something about misunderstanding. But apparently her expectation didn't go fulfilled like she want. Lenalee was smiling sheepishly to the stunned silver haired young woman.
"Sorry, I couldn't help it. I'm so tired and that bed seems cozy so…"
"Lenalee…" Ellen began frowningly. "What Link has said is having some valid points…if it had been Lavi, there's no telling what he would have done…"
"Ah, don't worry. I can take care of myself." The purple eyed young woman replied easily.
Bullets of cold sweat started to appear on the back of Ellen's head. Lenalee still has that sheepish, perhaps ridiculous in Link's opinion, smile intact on her lips while she radiated an aura which could match an innocent angel like figure.
'She had actually use her innocence…?' Ellen mentally asked to no one but to herself. While she was older than Ellen by a year or so, sometimes Lenalee can acting more innocent than the girl supposed to, even more innocent than Ellen at some point like this case for example and it's caused her some concern for the purple eyed Exorcist. Tired was a one thing she could tolerate and understand but to actually fell asleep on boy's bed? Komui will not let this go slipped from his hand; he's very protective toward his sister.
"That's not the point I'm trying to make!" Link snapped in outrage. He clearly didn't like the way how Lenalee gave her answer and act as if she had no problem at all.
Ellen could felt the headache was coming to her. And now Link didn't make this easier. Ellen sighed heavily as she palming her face with her deformed hand. This is getting nowhere and time is keep running and flowing. There're so much things she has to do today and already she had an actually not necessary problem in her hands. The silver eyed Exorcist had just got up and the last thing she wanted to see and hear from waking up was someone kept shouting with loud voice and out of anger. It made her head hurt just to think about it. She hasn't had her brain functioning properly since she still feeling a bit off and has her mind clouded from just woke up a few minutes ago not to mention that odd dream she had previously. And now Link was angry and didn't bother himself to shout if it needed and necessary to him. As much as she wanted to sympathize the blond haired Inspector, she really needs to find a way to stop the blonde's shouts. So she decided to close the door for temporary at let her mind cleared at first.
"At any rate could you stop shouting like that, please…? My head's hurt…" Ellen swung the door closed before Link can say whatever he wants to say further.
"Ah, oi―!" Link was about to step in when the door closed from him.
And it served only angrier Link and more muffled shouts from behind the door.
"OPEN THAT DOOR AT THIS INSTANT, ELLEN WALKER! THIS IS DELIBERATE OBSTRUCTION OF MY DUTIES…!"
'I get the feeling I was having some kind of dream…' Ellen thought puzzlingly. Even though she acknowledged the fact she had some kind of odd dream, strangely she couldn't remember or recalled what kind of dream she had. It wasn't like the dream when she met Noctis for the first time and she can remember it very well, even to every small detail. It would be a prefect lie if the grayish silver eyed young woman didn't find it quite intriguing. 'I wonder what it was.'
"Ellen-chan, are you okay?" Lenalee's voice snapped Ellen's wandering mind back to the real world.
"Hm? What is it?" The taller girl tilted her head in questioning manner. Ellen was taller by one or two centimeters from Lenalee. Her hands kept working and took out the uniform she had left hanging near the door.
At first, the purple eyed young woman has opened her mouth to say something but then she seemed to go against it because she quickly snapped her mouth closed and a warm smile grazed her lips. She put both of her hands behind her and shook her head gently instead in dismissing manner. Her purple eyes twinkled lively and cheerfully.
"No…it's nothing." Lenalee was brushing off rather without a problem.
Ellen looked at her fellow Exorcist with puzzlement emotion to hear it. However because Lenalee kept smiling warmly to her and she had thought an assumption, Ellen was letting it go.
"…? I see." Ellen gave her own sweet smile.
'She must be meant my fever.' Ellen concluded mentally and warmed up at the comforting thought. Her smile was widening ever slightly.
Lenalee was always like that; very caring and worry for her comrades, for she treasured them very much. That was why Ellen trusted and considering the green haired girl as one of her closest friends within the Black Order, aside from regarding her as older sister like figure. Ellen glad to has the green haired girl as her friend and therefore she was very thankful for this. Although the supposedly touching moment wasn't or perhaps wouldn't last long to be precisely, since the braided blonde's voice muffled flatly behind the closed door. Not when he began to threatening the slim and snow haired young woman who was under his watch. His tone proven the grayish silver eyed young woman's suspect on how serious he was this time.
"Very well, if you insist on shutting me out, I have no choice. I will have to inform Supervisor Komui that Lenalee Lee is…"
At the threat which Link threw, Ellen hastily opened the locked door and went out.
"Eeep―, I'm sorry Link…! You don't have to threatening me like that!" She apologized. The silver eyed Exorcist was stepping out from the room with hurry.
Ellen went to the outside and talked with the blonde Inspector, leaving Lenalee inside the room. It was when the snow haired young woman finally away, Lenalee's smiling face changed drastically onto a pure fear and shock. Unconsciously, her hand grabbed the chest part of her uniform. It trembled slightly and she gripped it tighter, squishing it under her shaking hand. A trail of cold sweat trailed down on her side face.
'Did I imagine it…?' Lenalee pondered in mixing emotion between apprehensive and perplexed.
She could be wrong.
She must have seeing things.
The green haired young woman had just returned from a mission after all.
It's not a surprise that she tired and started to seeing things.
It's what Lenalee Lee wanted to believed or so.
So why she's so scared and has a feeling that something is terribly wrong…?
'She looked like a completely different person.' Lenalee thought quietly.
On the bed, Timcanpy stayed still.
The golem seemed to be in deep thought.
Noctis was completely frozen.
He was sitting at the edge of his bed, stared at his right hand which continued to shivers violently. Few cold sweats trailed down from his forehead. It was understandable to say that he was in tremendous confusion. It wasn't making any sense to him. Until a minute ago, he was still sleeping peacefully in his bed. Until a minute ago, everything was fine enough…
Until a dark and evil, ominous presence suddenly overwhelmed him. It was so strong and vicious, so at the time he sensed it, his eyes snapped open in alarm and he jumped with every part of his body fully tensioned, aware of the oncoming danger. Noctis was on kneeled position with one hand outstretched, ready to summon his weapon should the evil presence showed its form. But as fast as it came, the presence was gone. There wasn't even the slightest trace of that dark and evil aura. He deeply stunned, he kept stilled in the same position for a while before he finally sure the presence wasn't going to come back. His body shifted stiffly as he took a sit position. When he tried various ways to sense the ominous aura, he still didn't find any hint of the dangerous presence.
Nothing at all.
It made him very unease.
"Just now…" Noctis muttered anxiously.
What was that unknown presence?
He clenched his hand into a tight and hard fist.
"Why I have a feeling something bad is going to happen…?"
Far from the location where the Black Order HQ existed, in another side of the world…
It was a late night went to the early dawn with a pale colored full moon far above there in the dark, starless sky. The moon shone quite brightly over the capital as it moving and glided to the west sky. Night was almost over as the time for the dawn slowly coming near for the capital. Since it hasn't coming yet, the sky still dark as the air become chill and thin veil of fog covered all over the capital. Even though the sky is having no star due to the lingering pollution come from heavy industry and houses, the capital somehow managed to has some peaceful and such serene air despite its supposed high crime rate. Sounds weird not to mention unnatural but that what happened in this certain capital. Until this point, it seemed everything was running normally.
Not even there was the slightest sign of peculiarity at the moment.
That was until the sounds of broken glasses echoed loudly out of sudden through the dark of night.
It sourced from one of plentiful grand, luxurious mansions in London, England.
It was an area where only the nobles and those who have the same class or status with the nobility –successful mercenaries and businessman for example- are staying and took residence. Between those mansions, on one of the biggest and the most beautiful mansion that ever being built in there somewhere on the third floor, a room had its windows completely broken by some powerful force. Should there are normal humans saw this from below they would've thought that the window must have broken from some fights between husband and wives or perhaps a pair of lovers. They might even think the windows got broken by clumsy maids when they tried to search for something by the order of her master or something similar like that along the line.
Unknown to them, the force itself was far cry from any normal causes they could imagine at. Besides we have important reason why the force itself not normal. The mansion is the Camelot mansion where the three familiar Noah's had been living for years. Inside the room, a Gothic Lolita wearing girl around 12 years old with blue spiky hair and dark blue eyes, sat by near the window. While the girl looked young, she was actually a lot older than her appearance due to her ability and mostly her true identity as one of Noah Clan. She was licking at her candy quietly on the cold marble floor, in which it was an unusual sign for her since she usually would has that wide yet sadistically grin on her face. Not too far from where she sat, a well built man around his twenties and long, wavy, black colored –almost deep purple in fact- hair sat on the chair. He only wore a pair of black slacks, leaving his upper body wear nothing. His back faced the Noah of Dream and if you listen more carefully, he was panting for some reason as if he was in pain. Same like the girl, the man also the part from the infamous Noah. The girl who was still silent until a few seconds ago then opened her mouth, asking the kept panting young man.
"What's wrong, Tyki…?" Road asked calmly as she continued to licking on her candy.
The man, now dubbed as Tyki didn't answer her immediately.
He focused at his pain for a moment, trying to ignoring the intensive pain from his body.
"My wounds…they're aching." Tyki muttered under his breath, his breathe hitched a bit.
The man clutched harder both side of his head. Sweats covered almost all of his upper naked body and a huge scar was visible on his back. It goes from his shoulder to the mid of his stomach. The scar which given by certain silver haired Exorcist during the battle at Ark. His fingers were digging and sunk deeper into his unravel and long black wavy hair, signified that he had just barely resisted the pain. His long, wavy hair shielded his face away from the eyes of the spike haired girl. He sounded frustrate enough judged from how troubled his voice was. Tyki did practically half begging to the sitting Road.
"Tell me, Road, please…" He asked desperately to the younger looking Noah as he gritted his teeth.
"What is this feeling…?" The wavy haired man's voice sounded extremely confuse than ever.
Road didn't respond at his question, the seemingly 12 years old girl only continued to licking quietly his candy. She was indeed unusually very quiet and gloom to say at least. If you're looking more closely, actually she was hurt and injured. There were several cuts on her left cheek and others on her left leg and blood poured from those injuries. Beside her, hundreds of broken glasses, the cause of her injuries, were spreading in various sizes. They were shards from the window which from what it seems, Tyki broke them accidentally with his Noah's power burst. It was a disturbing fact how did and how would he does that at the first place. However, what was disturbing the most was inside of the shattered pieces of the window glasses and shone by the hanging moonlight from outside there, a shadow of figure with anything but only mouth was grinning like a madman.
Joyd, Tyki's very own Noah's Shadow, was grinning in incredibly giddiness and eagerness…
For the new Noah's awakening near and about to began…
For the new member of family was about to wake up…
And it can't hold its patience any longer…
Okay…cliffhanger everyone. I'm such a villain, am I? (grinning a Chesire grin)
This chapter became too long to my taste. Since it had became too long I had no choice but to divide it onto two chapters. Since it has been more than 3 months since my last update, I hope you're enjoying these chapters after a very long waiting. You guys deserve it anyway. They had been proven to be long chapters although I had divided them.
This chapter alone is typed more than… 31.887 words?
This is the best record I've made so far. *o W o* Imagine if I didn't divide it, it will be freakin' far longer and I doubt you guys will be strong enough to read it all! I have to stop my ramblings at this point.
Please give me your comments and reviews in here!