Published at 14th of August 2019 08:56:40 AM

Chapter 27

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(In the late evening)

Madelyn: "Is everyone comfortable? If you need anything else, just ask . "

Another great end to another great day[!]

After the butcher arrived, we quickly set out to work on cooking the salmon . I originally planned to have honey garlic glazed salmon, but, well, I can't have everything . Honey and soy sauce aren't exactly easy to come by in a village .

Though, with the help of Dai-tai, we opted for oven-baked salmon that turned out better than I had expected .

It's what I get for underestimating Dai-tai constantly . The girl is a whiz when it comes down to it, but chooses to hide it . I want her to be more serious .

Lilith: "I'm a little cold . "

Steven: "Here, you could wear my coat . "

Lilith: "Are you sure?"

I remove my coat and wrap it around her . She then adjusts it more comfortably around herself before looking back up to me confused with my act of benignity .

Madelyn: "You know, I believe this is the first time I've seen you 2 get along since you were sick . "

Everyone was pretty surprised…

Dai-tai: "Yeah, it's really weird . "

Steven: "I always get along with her . "

Madelyn: "No, you don't . You ignore her, almost like she doesn't exist . "

Lilith: "It doesn't matter, I just desire to rest . "

Am I really that much of an asshole to her?

Quickly and quietly, everyone finally turned in for the night by dropping away into their futons . It becomes difficult for me to rest as the winds are getting heavier, the sounds enveloped the house and had loose dirt rattle the roof . It felt very eerie, almost like the house was haunted .

Young Mi: "These winds are only starting to get worse, always does this time of the year . "

Madelyn: "What month gets this windy?"

Young Mi: "In Enteka . "

It's November essentially, I figured out the calendar and realized it wasn't too different from what I'm used to . 12 months averaging 30 days each .

Madelyn: "What month is that?"

Young Mi: "The 11th month . You don't know your months?"

Though, I never figured out what year it was . Elves and Nekomatas counted the years differently .

Madelyn: "It isn't the one I'm used to . "

Dai-tai, in another one of her games, rolls to my side, only inches from my face .

Dai-tai: "Hi . "

She giggled softly .

Dai-tai: "Come join, Madelyn . "

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Madelyn: "That's not happening . "

She turns and lies along her side facing away from me . Dai-tai, seeing that her game wasn't going anywhere, scoots back over to Young Mi's side .

Lilith: "You… you 2 wouldn't happen to be related, would you?"

Madelyn: "Me and Steven? I never recognized him from before . Why?"

Being the sole humans in the world, she's the closest I would have to a sister . Not that it genuinely matters, it just sort of made sense when I thought about it earlier .

Lilith: "I was merely thinking . "

Young Mi: "They both have rounded ears just like you, Lilith . They could be relatives of yours . "

Lilith: "I'm half-Elven and Demon . Not human . "

Young Mi: "Like me?"

Demons and Elves could procreate?

Madelyn must've had the same thought as she set out to ask questions about it .

Madelyn: "What about Nekomatas?"

Young Mi: "I've only come across a single half-Elf, half-Nekomata . But it's possible . "

Madelyn: "And Goblins?"

Young Mi: "No, their anatomy is too different from ours . "

Steven: "Humans?"

I cut in with a question of my own .

Young Mi: "That's an answer I do not know . "

The fortunes of having my own family might've just dropped significantly . Young Mi sees how bummed out I was and tried to cheer me up as best she could .

Young Mi: "But you don't need to be related to be a family . "

She smiled sweetly, reminiscing about her lifetime on her homestead .

Maybe she has the right idea . . .

Niroja, feeling her love, snuggles next to her, which she warmly accepts .

Dai-tai in her own response, grabs their blankets and piles them on top of Young Mi's as they crawl under and finally rest together .

This is sweet .

Although they're a strange family, it's still sweet . It makes me wish I had something like they had . Easily, the closest would be back in Everhand, and maybe Madelyn too, just because she's human .

I move around to face her, as she still has her back to me .

Out of all the people in this room, she's the one I know the least . Always so secretive about herself . Never talks about herself, her family, friends, or even what she did . All I know is that she's a gamer, possibly a hardcore one, and from Riverside .

Steven: "Who are you?"

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I whispered to myself .

Without putting much thought into it, I gently put my hand against her back . Drawing her attention in the process and looks at me with a face mixed with annoyance and curiosity .

Madelyn: "What is it?"

She whispered softly .

Steven: "Ah—I—sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up . "

Madelyn: "You're curious, huh?"

Curious? Does she even know? If so, how did she find out? I can't be that easy to read!

Madelyn: "Don't be, you'll only feel sorry for me . "

That's only going to make me worry!

Steven: "Alright, then . Sorry . "

Whatever her reasons, I'll honor her choice of not telling me…

After falling asleep, I had a dream . I was in another void, only it was filled with light . As if I was within an empty canvas . I drifted aimlessly in the bright void and see a familiar figure in the distance .

Headmaster: "Well, I'll be… it actually worked . "

Steven: "H-headmaster? Is that actually you?"

Headmaster: "Surprised? I utilized a bit of magic to get to you . "

I stood in the white room in shock, unable to capture the words, the limitless amount of questions I had . I wanted to him about all the events that unfolded in the past month and ask him about my friends .

Headmaster: "Don't ask how just know that it works . It's in the afternoon here in Everhand, what about you?"

Steven: "It's… well, I suppose a little past 9 or 10 at night . "

The Headmaster slightly looks up and stares deep into the white room . I look in his direction and see nothing but more whiteness .

He's seeing something that I can't, but what?

Steven: "Headmaster?"

Headmaster: "No doubt, you're asking what everyone has been up to, right?"

I nodded slowly .

Headmaster: "Well, everyone is alright, the school was damaged, mainly the courtyard and the A-block, my office . They retrieved the Grimoire, Steven . I was so close to finally unlocking its power . "

Steven: "What about everyone?"

Headmaster: "Livia is a little shaken up, well the whole school is, but, you know how she is when she becomes worried . You mainly affiliated with her, Cynthia and Kanna, correct? Well, they escaped, Kanna twisted her ankle trying to run and Cynthia helped her escape . "


Steven: "Wha—what about Kanna?! Is she alright? Is she hurt?"

Headmaster: "Hm? I just said she's fine and only twisted her ankle . Well, she's been evasive coming to school, though it's understandable why… I'm twisting the records around to hold her from getting kicked out . "

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The white room fades into a familiar environment .

We were in the Headmaster's office . It just faded in like nothing, as if my eyes were playing pranks on me .

Headmaster: "Sorry about all this, I needed a more comfortable environment . Where are you?"

He sits in his chair and proceeds to write in a book . Even in this supposed dream world, he never sways to have a book in hand .

Steven: "Hei'an Zhi Guo . "

Headmaster: "Of course . "

He sighed in annoyance .

Headmaster: "Do you know how to get back? We could try and smuggle you across the border . "

Steven: "No, I'm not alone, Headmaster . "

Headmaster: "Who? Anyone notable?"

Steven: "Lilith?"

He stops momentarily, closing the book and handing me his full attention .

Headmaster: "Explain . "

I sit down in the chair, ready to tell him everything that has taken place since that day . From escaping my near execution to being trailed through the Void, falling in a village and helping them out . Finding and beating Bao and getting cursed right after . Barely surviving, and now learning Ice magic .

Steven: "… And well, then you came and contact me . "

Headmaster: "You've been busy, haven't you? You can't catch a break . "

He leans into his chair, contemplating my situation .

Headmaster: "This voice, in the Void, did it have a name?"

Steven: "No, we asked around the village and they won't say anything . Not even Young Mi knows . "

Headmaster: "Hm… you don't want to fight the Queen of Hei'an, but that seems inevitable with their goal… if you ask me, you're all better off just running as far as you can . "

Steven: "Sure, but, where do I go?"

Headmaster: "Go back to Shouyi, your people enjoyed it there . Well, there's a lot you could do . Could Lilith get you pardoned?"

Steven: "I don't know . "

Headmaster: "Right now, the best course of action would be to figure out what power Lilith has in the government and working from there . "

He glances at the clock and stands tall in realization .

Headmaster: "Maybe we can continue next time? I've used far too much magic by now and have to return . See you soon, Steven . "

Before I had any say, I slowly wake up back in the village . The very same living room I had fallen asleep in .

I look out the window and notice the sky slightly lit, the day is about to begin for us . Lilith as well, was sitting quietly and peacefully, watching the sunrise .

Madelyn was soundly asleep right next to me, Dai-tai, Niroja, and Young Mi, same as Madelyn, but close together .

Was it really a dream?

This could be my chance, to put an official to our fight and be on more friendly terms with Lilith . None of the "silent treatment" I've supposedly had!

Watching my step as I go to the hallway, as to not wake the others, Lilith notices me and I wave at her to follow me, which she hesitates at first before doing so .

Following me to my room and closing the door, giving us an entire room to speak to each other .

Lilith: "What is it?"

Steven: "Lilith… I…"

I don't how to go about it, and how is she going to react? There's only one way to find out .

I take a deep breath .

Steven: "I'm sorry, Lilith . "

Doing a full bow to Lilith, she becomes flustered and begins to believe something bad has just happened . She reaches out to me and has me stand tall .

Lilith: "What happened? Why are you apologizing? Did I do something?"

Steven: "N-no, it's… I think we should officially stop fighting . And, I also think that we should work together and get through this… Peacefully like Madelyn said . "

Lilith: "Peacefully? Oh, I… I would love that . "

She sheds a single tear .

It was enough to convince me that she really is better than I originally believed .

Steven: "I don't blame you, Lilith . "

I'm still a little upset that she kidnapped me, but she doesn't need to know that .

She grasps and silently weeps in my tunic . I'm flabbergasted by the stark contrast between the Lilith now and the one I had known 7 months ago .

I guess the reality of her actions really hit her hard…

Steven: "Hey, don't cry . Look, I have a plan that'll work alongside Madelyn's . "

She slowly regains her composure and releases me . Noticing the position she put herself in, she quickly wipes away her tears and eventually returns to her usual self .

Lilith: "I'm—I'm not crying, idiot . "

This is fine for now .

Lilith: "And you're still my trophy . "

Just not that part .

Heading back to the living room with Lilith right behind me, we bump into Madelyn who had just came out of the washroom . Looking surprised to see both of us walking out together .

Madelyn: "That's where you 2 were . What were you doing?"

Steven: "Putting the past behind us . "

Madelyn: "Oh, that's great! Now we can really work together . "

Steven: "Oh, and Madelyn?"

I'll do this in a way I know she'll understand .

Madelyn: "Yes?"

Steven: "For the main quest, do you want to go for the secret ending?"