Her legs immediately spurred her to the bed, all other concerns bursting away. She reached for the covers but immediately stopped herself. What if Lavian was
No! Thats not possible
Alicia brusquely waved her head several times, squeezing her eyes shut until the insides of her skull sloshed and hurt. They had only known each other for three years and three years was not enough to finish their marriage race in which she felt quite confident in winning. She had yet to apologize to Lavian for ruining her blue dress the other day. And she suddenly felt guilty for all the names she had called her friend. Klutz, idiot, clumsy ass, pea brain.
Hesitantly, Alicia rested a hand over the large lump on the bed. Holding her breath, she gently shook.
La-Lavian. She called, but everything remained still with perturbing silence, so quiet that her own jagged breathing seemed the only existing thing.
Waking Lavian had always required a good amount of energy and effort. Hell, that clumsy cry-baby had gotten them both late countless times with her sluggish sleeping habits. Alicia tried again, a little harder this time, but after her own hand stopped so did the block of mass on the bed.
A clog of salt gathered at the back of her throat, invading the ridge of her nose and into her eyes. As much as she wanted to call out again that burning lump did not allow her to.
Lavian still owed her 1450 gil, while she herself owed the girl 2, 000 something gil. And the poker game from last night still needed to be finished and Lavian had yet to break her record of 16 jugs of beer. And she hadnt meant any of those stupid names at all but did Lavian know?
With her eyes tightly shut, Alicia shook her friend violently, again and again, her heart clutching together, trying to pull back her forming tears. Suddenly, the covers, which she dared not to uncover, flipped open and an abrupt force pushed away her arms.
Dear Ajora, cant a girl deprived of sleep get some shut-eye around here?!
Despite the disheveled hair, half-opened eyes and drooping shoulders, this thing looked and sounded exactly like Lavian. The moisture in her eyes held their place, as did her gaze. Slowly, Alicia reached out for the slumped shoulders, taking a few good shakes.
Wahhh! responded the thing.
Not-an-illusion-solidity test Pass. The red haired knight then reached for the daggers wilting handle and with a quick yank, pulled it out. Not a single hint of red.
Hello, hello, anyone home? called the Lavian, who looked like Lavian, waving a hand over the unmoving face.
The thing didnt sound like it was in pain and it looked pretty much alive. The top of her left cheek twitched as she now carefully made her way to the covers. With another quick yank, they came off onto the ground. Pure white feathers from the pillow, which she had used to silence Lavian earlier, spewed out from its wound, a small cut rested over its smooth clean surface, just beside the sitting figure on the bed.
Hey, dont do that! complained the auburn girl, shivering from the sudden lost of warmth.
Hearing the familiar whine ignited the brackish knob and hot tears welled and blurred her vision.
Why are you crying, Alicia?
A loud wail cried from Alicias heart, as she violently scolded her best friend, her clumsy whiny companion who was alive. Large drops of salty tears brimmed onto her face despite her efforts in holding them in.
You idiot! How could you have fallen asleep!! screamed the red head, her cheeks ruby and angry, slightly sniffling. And I was not crying!
But you are
Shut up! Its all your fault!
Alicia continued to explode with loud incoherent insults, her voice entirely consuming the soft chiming of expensive glazed clay falling onto the solid stone floor.
You two hissed the forgotten culprit. Ophion slowly rose, his head throbbing with ringing pain and dizziness. A few more shards of the broken blue vase tumbled off his neck and robe.
Hi, Lord Ophion. Greeted Lavian. Judging from his glaring pupils and converged eyebrows, he was definitely not in a good mood.
Then she saw Alicia sprint forward, her strong right arm pulled back. In that quick second, the fury fist extended. Lavian felt her jaw open as the hit landed on Ophions nose, right between his eyes.
Oh my god.
The auburn girl immediately left the bed, looking down onto the fallen priest.
Why did you do that!? Were going to get kicked out!! What will your mother say? Worse, what will the captain say! We are in so much trouble!
Shut up, already! He almost killed you!
But before things could be explained, the crooked end of a gold staff hooked onto her left foot, sending her into the air and onto the ground. Her back and rear looped with pain and when she opened her eyes, Lavian screamed as the staff loomed over her head, ready for execution.
Luckily, Alicia leaped into the attacking priest, her hands wrapped tightly around the impeding weapon. The red head had the advantage and began to drive her weight and strength into the staff and the man under her.
The knight was certain about her victory until Ophion unsuspectingly relaxed his grip, then, with a sudden jerk, guided the knights strength back to her. Alicia felt herself being sucked in then catapulted away. Combined with a strong hip thrust, she lost her grip and landed away on the ground.
Ophion rolled to his knees then got up on his feet. He may be a priest but one who had survived the war by no accident. His pride simply did not allow him to fail against two amateurs knights. He began to summon the destructive forces of nature but before the spell could be completed, Alicia charged toward him, sword unsheathed and at hand. He easily blocked the blow and with the same trick, shifted the offending strength away. The knight stumbled back and Ophion immediately swung his staff for the offence. All Alicia could do was clumsily defend the attacks until a proficient swipe caught her wrist and she reflexively let her sword fall to the ground, taking a couple more steps to evade the following swings. A corner of Ophions thin lips perked up as he picked up the blade.
Give me your sword, Lavian! called Alicia.
I left it in my room answered the other knight feebly.
Unarmed, there was only one option left.
Run for it!!
What were considered ordinary to the local residents were unusual and exciting sights to the girls. Every step they took was accompanied by constant human chatter and daily ruckus, quite unlike their usual days of thick silence. The street performers were especially amusing. There were jugglers, weight lifters, flame performers, coal walkers and the fact that they were sneaking off added a certain thrill. Some of the acts were even quite dangerous. Ovelia almost screamed when the man laid himself on a bed of nails, her own worries forgotten. He even went so far as to having his partner stand on top of his chest.
Aside from the more exciting events, there were the little shops that coated both side of the busy road. The sweet smell of fresh bread from the bakery wafted through the air. Large appetizing legs of ham hung behind the butchers shop while delicate necklaces and precious stones laid neatly on wooden counters. But all these sceneries were passed quickly. Only quick glances were taken as Alma hurriedly passed them to a greater destination. Every time Ovelia wanted to linger, her blonde friend would drag her right to the next sight. Not even a hint of rest was permitted until theyve reached the shop that had Pisco Tavern hung from above.
At last, after hearing all those exciting tales from her brothers letters, she was about to see it for herself. With her arms outstretched and a wide smile, Alma proudly presented their final destination.
Here we are!
Ovelia did not share the same vigour as her friend. Despite its cheery neighbours with clean and bright adornments and their products proudly displayed, this one hid behind dull swinging doors, shrouding a secretive darkness. The paint on every wooden plank had already peeled away, recoated by a murky layer of musk and scratches. Exhausted legs also dont contribute much to enthusiasm.
What is this place? asked Ovelia, skeptically.
A bar, silly.
A bar is the heart of a town. Reasoned Alma, You havent seen the town until youve been into her bar. We could probably catch a few rumours and maybe something interesting might happen!
As fishes were never born to fly, Almas logic was never made for inquiry. With a wide smile that could no longer be suppressed, the young Beoulve charged her way through the swinging doors, towing her royal friend along.
Theres a free table. She pointed.
Shouldnt we ask before sitting?
Nonsense. Thats not how a bar works. Replied Alma expertly and with another eager yank led them to the table. Ovelias arm was beginning to ache from all the impatient tugging although her stinging calves were quite grateful for a place to sit.
Remember; right now, we are normal girls, so just stay calm and blend in. Dont freak at everything you see, got it?
The princess nodded, hesitantly, skimming her surrounding. There were only a few others, all men, slouched over their tables, mumbling. Two whom she accidentally made eye contact with raised their jugs toward her, lazy grins plastered over their crimson faces. Ovelia immediately placed her sight onto the table, hands politely over her lap. The bar suddenly seemed very hot, with waves of heat dragging out a layer of sticky sweat.
Then came the loud hammering of solid leather heels. A burly man, with plentiful hair over his entire face stepped out from behind the bar, swinging the blotched cloth he was using to wipe jugs over his shoulder. His height towered over them, cutting off the little light that the cheap crafted candles provided from above. Ovelia continued to look down intently, her body now cowering like a slanted bow.
Whatta rare treat! he boomed. And how coulda help yeh two pretty lassies?
He grabbed the rag off his shoulder, quickly covering the table in four large swipes. Spits of water flung onto the princess and she jumped slightly back.
Two ales. Said Alma, brushing off the slight tugging at her sleeve.
We got some pretty strong stuff ere. Dink you can handle it, baja? Winked the bartender.
Any else? Yeh two look like yeh could use sum food.
umm what do you suggest?
Pisco ribs. Yeh cant get that taste any else. Flamed juuussst right with meh own special mix of erbs. A whiff of that and WHOA yeh cun stop!
Alright then. Give us two servings.
Gotcha. He replied, assuming that the girl meant logs. After all, who in the world would eat in servings.
Just as he turned around, the man yelled RAD!!!!!!!!!!
Ovelia yelped, her back immediately straightened. After noticing the awkward stares she was receiving, the princess returned to her bowed state, the bar seeming twice as warm.
I say, RAD!!
Heardja the first time! Geez. Came a holler from within the smoking doors.
Two logs of pis ribs! And make it quick!
The man gave Alma a smirk and returned to his place behind the wooden counter. Grabbing two stained wooden jugs with a single hand, he flicked the casket switch open and the sound of rushing liquid whooshed around the empty bar. The floor rumbled once again as the bartender stomped his way back to their table, laying before them the filled jugs.
Dere yeh go.
My pleasure, baja. Just give me a shout if yeh need any else.
Alma eagerly reached for the unusually thick and large cup, her smooth palm grabbing onto the rusting handle.
Alma, were not supposed to drink! whispered Ovelia.
The more reason to try.
No more buts. Intercepted Alma, A little sip isnt going to hurt.
And despite Ovelias protest, she took a large gulp, the sweet foreign liquor running down her virgin throat. The jug was quickly placed down, a blank look on the Beoulves face as the cool liquids path blazed with heat. She could feel it traveling down her stomach then explode into a large flood of warmth, hugging her insides. Quite a unique feeling although the taste could definitely use some improvement.
Whoa. Smiled Alma.
She just had to try that again and another gulp went down. Damn that taste.
Alma, are you alright? asked Ovelia.
Her brightly coloured friend just continued to grin.
You should really try this.
And another gulp.
The pisco ribs soon came as well, a heated scent of herbs preceding the actual meat. It reminded Ovelia of fish with a distinctive musky flavour she had never smelled before. The plate fell heavily on the table, a few drips of sauce and oil flying beyond the sides. It looked definitely beyond two servings, hell, it was as large as her thigh! The two men beside them seemed unfazed by their own dishs unapproachable size, noisily handling the oily meat with their teeth and fingers. Alma followed suite. The princess thought about asking for forks and knives but settled on a more quiet activity; sitting.
Why is this happening to me?
An angry elbow promptly made its way into her stomach.
Quiet! Hell hear you! hissed Alicia.
Lavian immediately fell silent. They had just ran and ran and ran and ran some more, through the doors, through the halls, out the gates, never once stopping, even when they heard Ophions footsteps disappearing behind them, wheezing loudly and screaming for them to stop.
Straws of chocobo bedding poked through her dress and onto her skin as she shifted. Heat, collected from body warmth and air confinement, surrounded the knights, sweat crawling from their cramped bodies. There was nowhere else to go, except the stables, under this pile of hay to await their captains return. Awkwardly, Lavian clearly remembered this lesson of survival: when pursued, never remain in a building as it will allow pursuers to seal all exits and trap their victims within. Lavian moved again, earning another scolding from her partner. But she couldnt help it, not when she could see an end of a sword from every angle within the hay. It could come from there, or there, or here, or that corner.
Alicia? whispered Lavian.
What? grunted the red head.
The auburn girl paused then spoke in an even softer voice.
The frown on Alicias face immediately fled, a shock of frost hurriedly touched her spine then left. What will happen if Ophion found them? She linked her arm with Lavians, despite the increase in heat.
Dont worry. Everything will be fine.
Lavian gently nodded, clasping onto her sole comfort.
Youre so brave, Alicia.
Suddenly, soft thuds that were barely audible sounded into their ears. Could they be footsteps? No, these were much too fast and frequent? The knights waited, trying desperately to contain their breathing, constricting their limbs from making any movements. The clatter grew, a little more, a little more, a little more, until they were both certain that it was not of human original but hums of galloping.
With a few brash and desperate pushes and strides, the knights tore apart their fragile lair, breaking into open space. They frantically moved themselves to an opening and peeked outside. A small line of chocobos were speeding toward the monastery, two large flags, each with a proud white lion imprinted on their sides flew majestically in the air.
They must be Igros soldiers!!
Without another thought, the knights ran out with straw infested hair and dresses.
Were saved! screamed Lavian, flinging her arms freely above her head as she took greedy breaths of fresh air. There were not many of them but definitely enough against one priest.
Knaves, seize them! Theyre spies!
Ophion limped from the monasterys entrance, his arm clearly injured. Alicia and Lavian promptly stopped their steps, glaring him and his purple nose.
Arrest them now! he commanded.
Why, you lying old scum! roar Alicia. Youre the one who tried to kill Princess Ovelia!
Yea! finished Lavian.
Such lies! I caught them red handed! And after I discovered their despicable plan, they even tried to murder me! proclaimed the priest.
Not one soldier responded.
Dont just stand there, you imbeciles! I order you to arrest them! he howled.
Dont listen to him!
But despite their decrees, no one moved. Ophion ran his desperate gaze over the crowd of soldiers in utter confusion. The knight with a distinct white cape rode a few steps forward, retrieving a scroll from his side pocket. Unrolling it, he read.
Ophion Platus Gaudemus Nathom, you are now under arrest for treason to the crown.
Who would have guessed that pisco demon fat was so oily and stubborn. She, too, would not have known if she wasnt washing the plates that have served that fatty meat.
Squeak. Slip. CRASH.
Thats another hour, girl!
Ovelia sighed as the girls beside her giggled. And who would have thought that they needed gil. She had never seen such a thing in her life must less carry any of it. She had offered to find her bodyguard but the bartender would not listen to a word she said. Almas brothers at Igros castle seemed like the next best option but they all just laughed upon the mention of Beoulve. The bartender seemed extremely upset and placed her immediately to work to pay for their meal.
Black fog from the grill invaded her space. Her eyes burned, even more so when she closed them. The hot smoke stifled the air, trapping every ounce of heat while ramming aside any coolness beyond its territories. The stout stool that she sat on was simply too short and her spine moaned sourly as she bent herself over the large bin, scrubbing piling piles of dishes. Ovelia touched her hands together and winced. Her fingers were all craggy and swollen from the dirty water she had been soaking them in, thick water that wore a colour of brown, that forks and knives disappeared under. Alma was fast asleep beside her. None of them could get her up for some odd reason.
I should have just stayed. I should have never left the monastery. If only I stayed.
Gingerly, Ovelia picked up each fragment, careful not to cut herself as she did with the other plates. The other four girls, no older then herself, were performing the exact same chore, except with great efficiency and perfection, chatting casually with one another as if it was the most natural thing to do. One of them was even a child, nine or ten perhaps. Was this what being normal meant?
Squeak. Slip. CRASH.
The bartenders hairy head burst into the kitchen, just above the door, a clear scowl over his face. Yet again.
God Ajora, stop breakin meh plates!!
His lips curled to a side as he shook his head.
Whateva. Someone is ere for yeh.
Their eyes met for a brief moment but Ovelia immediately looked down to the bin. The water seemed a lot darker then when she started, a few pieces of meat and scraps swam and sank within the bottomless depths. She heard the girls beside her swoon, squeal and whisper. Something about amazing eyes.
Heavy battle boots clunked toward her, bent down and slung her unconscious friend over a shoulder. Not a word between them, not a word. Alma was carried out and she followed, uncertain if she wanted to leave or stay.
I tell yeh, baja, yeh were lucky dis time. If it were any else, it be jail for yeh and trust meh, yeh be doin a lot more den scrubbing a few plates. Dun do something stupid like dis again, yeh hear meh.
Yes, sir. said the princess, quietly.
Slowly, step by step, they proceeded to the swinging doors. Never had she felt such hot embarrassing stares before, mocking looks who had witnessed her bareness. Never ever.
Lemme guess. This must be the bodyguard. Said one of the bars customers, grinning. He was there since last night, drinking, drunk till the next morning, drank away the hangover only to repeat the cycle again.
Her bodyguard ignored him.
Hey, look at that. The blondies got a sword. Said another from the next table. The taverns wrench fiddled on his lap, teasingly tugging his brown hair. She had stroked and pampered his ego with her caress and full attention except when the mysterious blonde came in and for a few moments, her eyes and ears and nose and body belonged to someone else. He reached for the handle that protruded at the waist.
Agrias grabbed his arm and with a practiced haul, twisted it behind his back. A knights sword must never be touched by another unauthorized. It was a serious insult to the warrior himself and the swords sanctity.
Dont touch my sword.
He howled in pain, cursing. With carefully applied pressure, the knight in disguise bent his arm a little harder then released him.
Others at his table, three of them, stomped up. Mercenaries always traveled in bands. Only one of them remained seated, the one who shook his head at the mans first taunt.
Everyone watched, expectantly quiet. After the way their brother was treated, there was no backing down. Agrias inspected them carefully, meeting their gazes one by one. It was their fault and they knew it but the crowds scrutinizing stares pursued their dignity.
With one final glance, she continued her way out the exit, allowing the persistent heat of rage to linger but hidden.
Not so fast! You think you could just walk out this door without saying sorry?
Agrias ignored his bruised ego. There was no way she would involve herself in some petty bar fight.
Hey, Im talking to you, blondie!
The hinges squeaked and chairs fell to the ground as the neglected mercenary charged his way through the other customers. He pulled the open shoulder, swung his arm back and released his anger. The punch was dodged by timely instincts and a simple step. In retaliation, a booted foot caught the back of the mans ankle and with a quick slanted jerk, he fell, a solid thud onto dirty wooden planks. There was immediate laughter, amusement from the fool who had just lost to a blonde whose half a body was occupied by another person and still managed to humiliate him to the floor. This was what they were waiting for all evening.
Immediately back on his feet, his hand flew to his waist and dragged his sword out of its sheath, the only way he knew how to end any dispute.
Im not looking for a fight. Replied Agrias, calmly.
Just shut up and draw your sword!
She hadnt meant to wound the mans pride and the proceeding events were all too predictable as she lowered Almas prone body, gently handing her to the princess. She then armed herself, gently sighing.
Are you sure you know how to use that, blond head?
A little string of annoyance fiddled to her left eyebrow.
Eh, eh! Cut this out, botha yeh!
The bartender rushed his way between the drawn swords, his bulky body blocking off their view to their enemy.
Dere is no way dat Ima cleanin da mess with botha yeh bleedin and burnt.
Get out of the way, Garrek! Or Ill slice through you as well!
Shut yeh bluffing mouth an getta life, yeh fool!
The man growled and swung his sword. The bartender grunted and jumped away, more then familiar with the routine. The loser better pay for all the damage.
Their swords met several times, the man throwing curses and insults, jerking and maneuvering his sword at fancy angles. Agrias quietly took all the confident blows.
Ovelia watched, Alma slipping out of her grip. Luckily, the bartender was there and quickly caught her friend. The man vibrated of anger but Agrias she was still, those beautiful blue eyes silent and familiar as always. Her mind screamed loudly within the fresh beating of her heart. STOP STOP STOP.
Another battle cry rang within the cheering and upon the next contact, Agrias tightened her grip, lunged and with a quick wrist rotation disarmed the man. His sword splattered on a neighbouring platter of pisco ribs, the thick sauce covering its dirty blade.
Retuning her swing back close to her body, the tip of her sword scrutinized the mercenarys throat. Various sorts of sounds clamoured from the background, some rooted, others booed as the defeated fighter growled and glared, his chin lifted high just above his death.
Agrias allowed her sword to linger, warningly. She hated the word blondie.
Suddenly, her side tightened. A spurt of panicking warmth rushed behind her. There she was, the princess, eyes closed, one arm gripped tightly around her waist, the other resting gently on her left arm.
It was barely audible, mumbled and choked, like a suffocating baby. Her sword felt heavy under the gentle touch, like the first time she picked one up. She could feel the girl tremble against her. The princess is very warm and her own body felt cold.
Son of a bitch!
It was then did Agrias realize her fatal mistake; allowing her eyes to leave her opponent. The tavern spun from the sudden punch and her head exploded with unrecognizable instance, knocking her and the princess to the hard wooden floor. Her sword scurried away from its owners loosened grip, plunking away from reach.
Years of training held back the pain, allowing her to remain focused. Fury boots stomped and rumbled the wood and Agrias instinctively embraced the frail body beneath. As expected, a hit came, diving into her back. Despite the sudden clog within her windpipes, she rolled away, missing the next kick, moving just enough to solidify a step.
The blonde knight could hear his loud steps chasing down the space she had created and she knew her offense had to take place soon. With a forced pivot, she attacked the approaching kick, drilling an elbow into an open thigh within her crouching form. It drove the strike back to its premature state, swiping away her enemys balance.
With hands supported on greasy planks, Agrias pushed herself up and in a low, unsteady stance, released a punch, aiming for his stomach, the center of all strength derivation. Ruining the last bit of the mans defence, she tumbled forward, took the gap and pummeled another hit into his jaw, a brutal uppercut.
The mercenary fell, his heavy jaw leading him down. The break of movement finally allowed pain to flow and mercilessly it took the chance. Her head screamed, while the right side of her back howled. And she swallowed it all and stood up, knowing full well that she was defenceless.
The squeaking of chairs promptly sounded but Agrias stood still, unable to move.
Enough. Stop making fools of yourselves.
And the command immediately halted the mercenarys vengeful brothers.
It was Dugas own fault.
Agrias looked to him, eyes meeting for the first time. He knew she was injured. He knew she was defenceless and she knew he knew.
And it would be plain low for us to take advantage of our number.
He opened his palm to the door, politely inviting her safe exit. Agrias took the offer and picked up her sword and her charges. Short, courteous nods were exchanged and she left as she had long intended to.
The sky, bruised and purple, left faint traces of the sun trailing behind. Air, free of the distinct smell of bars, welcomed the trio into their sleepy streets. Shops and street sellers were collecting their products onto carts or the safe refuge of locked doors.
Ovelia followed the Holy Knight from behind, watching her steps and Alma, who was sprawled over the hidden back.
She had felt Agriass full weight over her. From the nape of her bodyguards neck, Ovelia had seen the trampling boots rapidly approaching with swift fury. Her vision was then covered as strong arms embraced her. The strength within that kick was evidently strong as the shielding body took the impact. She, herself, felt nothing but a small shove, like the other night when she was attacked.
Soon, they stopped and Agrias placed the unconscious burden on a shops steps. This one was still opened. She exchanged something from the lit counter and proceeded towards her. Ovelia immediately looked down.
Have a seat, please.
And the princess took her place beside Alma as instructed. She suddenly really wished that Agrias would yell at her. Then she felt one of her hands taken from her lap, guided onto a much larger and warmer one. The cork on the exchanged item, a small bottle of a gray colour, was removed. Gently, ever so carefully, the green liquid from within was spread over the cuts on her hand. The same was repeated with her other injured fingers. The wounds immediately closed, pain which she failed to notice before disappeared, leaving behind small raw scars. In the same mellow manner, her hands were returned to her lap. She would have cried if her tears werent dry from last night. Leather gloves covered Agriass hands once again.
I dont unless unnecessary.
Without another word, Agrias took Alma onto her back and began to leave. Ovelia immediately looked up, her vision blurry as if millions of hands were waving in front of her, missing the blue eyes. What had she done?
They continued their way toward the towns entrance where their chocobos had been waiting all day. Their personal silence befell them and every step seemed heavier then the one before. The soft shuffling of the streets continued to hum and the faint contour of the moon had begun to sketch itself. And step after step, they waited.
Are you mad? asked Ovelia, quietly.
After some delay, Agrias responded.
Yes, you are.
I didnt say that.
That doesnt mean you arent.
Im sorry, Agrias.
Their walk ended abruptly with the blonde knight suddenly stopping. A soft moment of hesitation stalled the air as Ovelia curiously watched her bodyguard from behind, the one who had taught her math, the one who had caringly noticed her insignificant cuts and the one who had protected her.
Theres no need to apologize.
You are mad. Concluded the princess.
Youre right. You dont have to forgive me.
A small quiet sigh left Agriass closed lips.
Apology accepted. We have to leave. Its almost night.
You sure youre not mad.
Im just kidding.
And for the first time, they looked directly at each other. She had never seen such open acceptance before.
Pis ribs came the soft mumbling. Ovelia smiled. Alma had always had a bad habit of sleep talking. Suddenly Agrias yelped and the princess panicked as she saw her friend take a bite on her bodyguards neck.
To be continued
Im done chapter 11!!! Damn did that take long. I had to finish 15 art pieces and simply didnt have the time.
N e ways, another big thanks to Animeanie, my beta-reader and a crucial participant in the making of every chapter. Followed up by Lord Jareth who also beta-read this chapter for me. And I also had another helper this time: Random 9, a character producer who offered his assistance. He thought out some of the extra characters that showed up, gave them pasts and personalities to make things easier. And thanks to everyone to has been reading DTB and keep on supporting Agrias/ Ovelia! (They just look sooooo cute together.)
~Im in love with love