Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Everybody has a Secret

Recommended Posts

It was night time and the sky was cloudy accompanied with a slight wind. The street lamps brightened up the roads and provided good visibility. He eyes scanned each and every nook and cranny which was an easier task to do from a roof which was where he was now, though it did not let him see through buildings so there were still many dead angles. Arthur was patient as he knew it had to be around here somewhere. A for more moments passed and he spotted a big tail crossing through one of the paths,’I have a visual,’ he said to Liz who was beside him.

This was his first mission as a member of Duality and a Fullbringer. A Hollow was often sighted roaming this area and so Arthur was sent to kill it along with Liz,’Let’s get closer,’ she said. They used Bringer Light to move from one roof to another until they had a clear line of sight to the Hollow.

It seemed to be some kind of chimera straight of a fantasy book; it had a long scorpion tail that was raised above it’s body, wings which resembled that of a bat, its hind legs resembled that of a horse while the front legs were more akin to a bear and his head was of a lioness covered by a Hollow mask. They looked to each other to concoct a strategy,’The tail will be troublesome. I’ll engage it and while I have its attention you come from behind and cut of the tail. I’ll use that to remove a wing and then it won’t be able to escape.’ He nodded in approval as it seemed the best course of action.

Liz activated her Fullbring as a cyan reiryoku covered her body and formed a sort of purply and black body suit covering her from toe to nose. It seemed quite solid and he wouldn’t be surprised if there were hidden gadgets in it,’I’m off.’ Arthur nodded,’Go get them, Batwoman.’ She jumped down and the Hollow turned as it heard a thud on the ground. She was a close combat fighter, so she closed the distance in an instant and landed a kick to its face. The enraged hollow roared and swiped at her with its right paw which Liz dodged by going under it and then delivering another kick to its joint.

Arthur waited as they exchanged a few more attacks and started moving to get behind the Hollow and activated his Fullbring as the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella appeared in his right hand. He jumped from the roof, using Bringer Light to boost his speed, and unsheathed the sword from the umbrella before swinging when the distance was close enough. It was a clean cut as blood exploded like a fountain and the tail fell to the ground. In that instant he also caught a whiff of a foul smell,’Someone didn’t wipe properly.

The Hollow roared in pain an immediately turned backwards to see who the new assailant was, and Liz used that moment of distraction to grab its right wing with both of her hands and pulled. A moment later he heard a ripping sound as the wing came off followed by blood. The chimera raised both its paws and slammed them into the ground to make some distance. He repositioned himself next to Liz as they made their next move. She went left and he went right. She quickly got to the Hollow’s right front leg and jumped up to deliver a falling kick to its shoulder causing it to dislocate judging by the sound. Meanwhile, Arthur approached the left leg and swung twice with his sword follow by a spin to avoid the incoming paw. At the same time, he sheathed the sword back into the umbrella and slammed it into its face as a hollow sound accompanied by a crack rang out.

They backed away and looked for its next actions. The chimera wasn’t very pleased with the crack in its forehead as it decided to do a biting attack first,’Get ready to attack its head,’ he warned Liz. He saw the big teeth coming at him and he thrust the umbrella into its jaw and pushed the runner causing it to open up into the shield form. Naturally the full size of the umbrella couldn’t fit in the chimera’s jaw causing it to get stuck, which prevented the Hollow from closing it. Arthur pushed even more causing the lower jaw to become dislocated.

In this time Liz went to its side jumped on its torso and locked her fists together and smashed into the crack on the forehead. The Hollow released its grip on the umbrella and raised its head in pain while revealing its neck. He changed the umbrella into the spear form and stabbed into the centre of the neck as the Hollow halted all movement, but it wasn’t dead yet. Arthur put his left hand on the spear for a two-handed grip and pushed to the right as its neck was cut open in a straight line with a gush of blood.

The chimera fell to the ground and started disappearing as it was killed by the attack. Liz came down from the Hollow to stand in front of him and her mask opened up to reveal her mouth,’That was a risky move.’ He knew that there were safer ways to dodge the attack but by doing that it gave them a moment of opportunity. He nodded,’I know, but it paid off. Besides, I trust you with my life.’ She let out a sigh,’I just don’t want you to take needless risks. The smallest mistake can lead to death and I don’t want you to die.’ Arthur raised his hands in defeat,’Alright, I’m sorry.’ Liz eyed him for a few more moments and then said,’Good job though.

Everything was fine as they came out unscathed, but she was simply concerned about him which he appreciated. They started heading back to make their report and went home afterwards. Since then he went on three more missions which were similar in nature. He went out to kill a stray Hollow with different members of Duality and came back safely, though it did not go smoothly every time and he did get wounded in the process but thankfully it wasn’t anything lethal. They told him that it was rare for stronger Hollows to appear since they were more intelligent and didn’t want to be hunted down but Arthur felt content with the weaker Hollows for now as he needed to build up his experience and decision making.

Word Count: 1,107

Total Word Count: 1,107

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alice looked him over carefully,’Did you start hitting the gym? You seem…more buff.’ Arthur watched as the kettle in the process of boiling the water and smirked,’Yea, something like that you could say.’ She nodded in acknowledgement,’Who would have thought? What brought the change? In the entire time I have known you never once have shown interest in being muscular or being healthy in that matter.’ He frowned slightly,’Is it so wrong to want to be healthy? People change given enough time, you know. You should try it sometimes,’ he said with a devilish smile.

This time she frowned and tapped her finger on her elbow as she was crossing her arms before her face lit up and she pointed her index finger at him,’Ooh, I know! It’s for a woman, isn’t it? Has to be! You finally found someone?’ A perplexed expression came over him,’What? No!’ The kettle clicked as steam began coming out of it,’Focus on yourself. Time is ticking you know. You don’t have long left,’ he said as he pointed at her with a spoon. Clearly, he hit a raw nerve as Alice got angry and punched him in the arm before storming off,’Good grief,’ he said with a sigh. It’s not like he could tell her that he’s working out to fight evil spirits with his magical umbrella.

Arthur opened the cupboard and looked at the selection of coffee with thought as he already forgot the order that was given to him. He slowly looked over the jars one by one and then nodded,’Yea, it was this one. Probably,’ and then used it to brew a single cup of coffee. He took it downstairs to the computer area to his seat, or more specifically the seat next to him. The young lady next to him ordered it and since they were still open he decided to take it upon himself. He put the cup next to the book she was reading for which she thanked him, and he sat back down on his chair and continued playing.

Some time later, he noticed that she was staring at him, so he put down his headphones and asked,’Sorry, am I being too loud?’ He had been raiding so he was giving out many commands and in critical moments he tended to raise his voice so he wouldn’t be surprised if it annoyed someone who was reading. She shook her head though,’No, it’s just that I find it fascinating. I’ve seen many guys play games but you’re... different. You seem to have a true passion for it.’ Her hair was that of a dark auburn colour, her skin was more pale than fair, and her grey eyes looked through her glasses at both him and his monitor.

He found her to be really beautiful and even though he had seen many pretty women, and even Alice was far from bad looking, but she was giving off a different aura. Arthur smiled,’Thank you. I really do enjoy playing. Many people find it a waste of time to play games or think that it’s dumb to be happy over getting a legendary item, but I find it all fun,’ he looked down at her book,’And what about you? What are you reading?

She smiled at his response,’I can see that. It’s a biology book. I’m a university student so I have exams quite often.’ He nodded in acknowledgment,’Nice, you want to be a doctor?’ The lady nodded with pride,’Yes! It’s been my dream for quite some time so it’s good that I get to follow it.’ It seemed she too had a passion, one that she will be able to fulfil,’Totally, as long as you are happy with it.’ Arthur saw that she was still gazing at his monitor,’Do you want to try?’ She seemed to be taken aback by the proposition and became a bit flustered,’I don’t know how. I’ve never played a computer game.

Arthur chuckled,’Not a problem. I’ll show you how, come,’ he said as he invited her to take his seat and she did so happily,’Left hand on the keyboard and right hand on the mouse.’ She positioned herself just like he said,’You use WASD to move and the mouse to turn your camera. Try it.’ The lady did just that as the did a 360 with the camera to look at her surroundings,’Wow, it looks pretty! Look at all these crystals!’ This kind of joy brought a smile to his face as nothing made him happier than seeing someone genuinely enjoy a game. She walked up to them to get a closer look and simply stared at their sparkling glow,’Ok, what next?

Arthur pointed at the monitor,’Look here there’s an enemy. You attack with the left mouse button and block with the right mouse button or you can dodge by holding a directional button and space. Try going up to it and attacking it.’ She nodded and did just that as the mob got aggroed and started attacking her as well. She spammed the attack button and tried to block when she saw an attack coming but she didn’t have the timing right, so she took the hits. Seeing that she couldn’t pull it off she decided to dodge instead until the mob finally died. She raised her hands and exclaimed,’Yay, I did it!’ He nodded with just as big a smile,’Good job!’ he said and then they high fived.

Meanwhile, Alice came down the stairs but stopped in her tracks with the scene before her. She came here to make an announcement for customers to leave since they were officially closing but they would still be open for another 2 hours to clean and so on. Alice recognised the game Arthur always played but now in his place was a woman and he was standing besides her and teaching her. She smiled and thought that maybe she wasn’t so wrong earlier though from her knowledge this was probably their first meeting, but she didn’t want to disturb all the same, so she quietly returned upstairs.

Arthur continued,’Next, I’ll show you how to use skills. It will get a bit complicated, but you don’t have to remember all the combinations. The easiest way is going to be to use the 1-9 and it will use them for you, so you’ll just need to aim.’ She nodded along to what he was saying and one by one he showed her the main skills. They spent the next two hours just like this. He was showing her step by step how to play and her excitement didn’t fall as they kept going. This time Alice had to interrupt them as she could not leave them without closing the store.

He noticed this and checked the time on his phone,’Oh, it’s closing time,’ he said in surprise. These last hours went by so quickly he felt. The lady was also surprised,’Oh no, I overstayed. Sorry!’ Alice shook her head though,’It’s alright,’ and cleaned up like normal. They left the café as a three though Alice quickly left and didn’t pay them any attention,’Probably still angry,’ he thought. The woman then realised something with an ‘oh!’ she stopped and looked at him,’I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Iris,’ she said, and she reached out for a handshake. He smiled and shook her hand,’Arthur.’ Iris nodded,’It was really fun! Thank you for your time.’ Arthur shook his head though,’It’s not a problem. I had a lot of fun myself.’ He then cleared his throat,’How about we do it again?’ She tilted her head in thought with a,’Hmm,’ and smiled,’Sure!’ They exchanged numbers and were ready to leave,’I’ll let you know when I’ll come next. See you next time.’ He nodded and saw her off,’Until next time.’ Later, he found out he made the wrong coffee as Iris teased him about it.

Word Count: 1,311

Total Word Count: 2,418

Iris Appearance:




  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Arthur met again with Iris a week later though they had also been texting through that time, so they had a chance to get to know each other a bit more. They met in the Alice’s café like last time but even though she agreed last time she might have changed her mind since then, so he decided to ask for,’How about it? Want to spend some time with me?’ She nodded cheerfully,’Yea! But I need to study a bit first so give me like 2 or 3 hours, ok?’ He nodded as well,’Sure, no rush. Same seat as last time, I’ll help out here until then so call me down when you need anything,’ he talked as he booked her in.

Naturally, he could just go down with her and stop working now, but he didn’t want to get in her way. Even more than that he didn’t want to seem desperate, so he decided the best solution is to take his time with things. Once Iris went down Alice smiled mischievously,’So, any progress?’ to which Arthur frowned,’None of your business.’ She rested her hands on her hips and bent slightly towards him,’Don’t be like that! I want to know! Little Arthur is finally growing up.’ That comment especially irritated him,’I’m not a kid! Especially not yours. I would dread that more than anything.

Alice let out a sigh,’Tell me!’ He knew that she probably wouldn’t stop until he told her, so he gave up,’I don’t know. We are talking whenever we can, but I don’t see any signs.’ She chuckled,’Do you even know what a sign looks like?’ He instantly replied without any hestitation,’Nope.’ She simply brought her hand to her face in hopelessness,’Do you at least know if she is single?’ Arthur looked way,’I didn’t ask…yet,’ and Alice crossed her arms,’Well, let’s hope that we aren’t getting out hopes up for nothing then.

3 hours later Iris came upstairs to tell him that she was ready, so Arthur looked to Alice and she nodded. It was a bit earlier than usual, but it was a just cause that she had no problems with. They started with a refresher of what Iris learned last week and he got her to do some side quests, but she too wanted a challenge and told him she wanted to try ‘one of these things where a group of people fight a monster’, a raid basically. He didn’t refuse her and let her try one but obviously not the hardest level difficulty and he didn’t want her to say that he was going easy on her, so he chose a medium difficulty.

He explained to her about the holy trinity of gaming and she followed along with the other players. They defeated the monsters on the way with relative ease and eventually got to the boss where her skills would be truly tested. The tank pulled and the fight started as everyone was doing their roles fairly well. Arthur could tell that her party members were also average players, both from their gear and their skill level. That’s why soon the tank made a mistake and the whole thing fell apart as the party started taking heavy damage and were on the verge of a wipe. Iris’ monitor was red on the outside as she too had low HP, but she still kept trying as she kept dodging and using skills and attempting to block.

Arthur could no longer resist as his gamer instinct took over and he took hold of the mouse, or Iris’ hand that was holding it. He felt her hand flinch under his, but she did not pull it back. He started guiding her by pressing the mouse buttons for her and told her which way to move. Thanks to that they successfully got behind the boss and unleashed a few back attacks which redirected the aggro to them. He then told her what to say on the microphone and she repeated it,’Healer, heal me while I hold aggro and use that to heal the rest of the party. Tank, once you have enough health take the aggro. DPS, use CC skills to hold the boss in place.’ The other players complied, and their plan went into motion. He himself played the DPS role so they couldn’t take too much damage which is why he told Iris when and how to dodge the incoming attacks while the party healed up. After this the party pretty much discovered and they killed the boss without much further trouble.

All this time he was holding her hand and only when he let go did it get to him as he felt his face get hotter. Was that too sudden and awkward? He knew that girls didn’t like sudden physical contact so he braced himself for what she would say. She let out a sigh of relief as she looked at the raid rewards,’Phew, that was…intense,’ then she looked to him,’I can see why you like it,’ she said with a smile. It looked like things turned out in his favour then as she didn’t say anything bad about and seemed to enjoy the experience. He too smiled as an idea came to him,’How about we make you your own account so that we can play together?

Iris looked a bit surprised but thought about it carefully,’I don’t think I can play too often by myself, but that way when we are here, we can both play together which I think would be better rather than just you watching.’ Since she agreed he got her to go through the registration and character creation process, one in which he didn’t influence her class decision, and they spent the rest of the evening playing together side by side.

Just like last time, Iris stayed all the way until Alice had to close the café and they left together again. Obviously, Alice wouldn’t hide her friendship with Arthur, so she waved them goodbye and went her own way leaving them two together. Iris too was about to leave but he stopped her with a,’Wait,’ so she stopped and asked,’What is it?’ He didn’t have a plan in mind when he said that, so he quickly had to think of something,’Uh, it’s very late and I don’t want you to go back by yourself. My house is fairly close to here so would you want to stay over?

Iris hesitated to answer which he found natural as they only knew each other for a week and he was already inviting her over. Not that he meant anything by it, but the streets truly were dangerous and you never know when a Hollow could appear. She answered still uncertain,’I wouldn’t want to impose myself…’ she said but he shook his head,’I have a spare room that you can use. It’s no problem really. If you really don’t want to then I could walk you to your house?’ She thought about this new proposition,’But then you would have to go back by yourself at an even later time.

She then let out a sigh,’Alright then, if you don’t mind then I could stay the night. However…’ While it seemed like good news so far Arthur prepared himself for the rest of that sentence,’I’m feeling a bit hungry… Can we get something to eat?’ It was quite ridiculous that he couldn’t help himself but chuckle,’Of course, what would you like?’ They started walking as she thought about it,’Well, takeaways are closed at this hour so the 24 hour supermarket is our best bet. We can decide there.’ He agreed and they hit the store in which they bought some snacks and 2 ready pizzas,’If it wasn’t so late, we could make our own pizza next time.’ Arthur nodded,’Sure, sounds good. I’ve actually never had homemade pizza.’ He was more interested in that next time in all honesty.

Iris wasn’t really surprised at his statement as most people would decide on takeaway over making it yourself. They paid for the food and Arthur brought her home where they quickly got set up and put the pizzas in the oven while they started on the snacks until they were ready. They set the pizzas on the table and got comfortable in the sofa while some movie was playing on the TV and simply dug in. Arthur felt like this has been the happiest he has been since Scarlett’s death so there was no denying it. He really was in love.

Word Count: 1,419

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That night they went to sleep without finishing the movie, though they did finish all the pizza and about half of the snacks remained in each packet. As they went to sleep quite late, it was natural that they also woke up later to compensate. At least he thought so, as he found Iris in the kitchen washing the plates from the previous night,’You didn’t have to you know.’ She nodded and smiled,’I know, but I wanted to. As thanks for letting me stay. It’s the least I can do.

It was indeed nice of her, but he felt bad that his guest was doing chores for him, especially when it was her,’Did you wake up long ago?’ She shook her head again as she looked from him to the plates,’I’m used to waking up early. I did sleep in though. I woke up like 30 minutes ago? Something like that.’ He nodded and leaned on the counter,’Well, you can stay as long as you like. I usually spend my weekends in the café anyway, so I don’t have anything planned.

Just like last night, she must have not wanted to be a bother as she said,’I’ll think about it.’ He nodded,’Sure, but I’m definitely not letting you leave without breakfast, you hear?’ he said which made her chuckle,’Alright, shall we get started on that then?’ They inspected the contents of his fridge as they thought about what to make. Arthur definitely wasn’t one for luxurious eating so ingredients were limited but milk and eggs were always in supply in his fridge, which is why they decided on American style pancakes.

They started working together as Iris fetched the ingredients while Arthur got out the tools for her as she mixed the ingredients one by one and then he was responsible for whisking the mixture into shape. Once he was done, Iris then heated up some butter on the frying pan and poured in the pancake batter in the right dosage to make a nice and fluffy pancake. While she did that, Arthur checked if he had any syrup to pour onto the pancakes but according to his expectations, he did not find any as it was simply not something that he used often. So, they decided to substitute it with powered sugar to satisfy their sweet tooth and as for fruit didn’t have any berry typed fruits, but he did have some bananas on hand, so he cut those into slices.

They didn’t end up using all the batter, so the remainder was put into the fridge and just like the previous night, they enjoyed their breakfast on the sofa with the TV on. They also talked about minor topics, in particular he wanted to find out more about Iris so that’s how his questions were oriented. She told him that she would soon graduate and since work experience was mandatory in the medicine field she was thinking about going back to the place she worked in as part of her degree. He didn’t really know how hard it was to get a job in the medical industry but nonetheless he encouraged Iris to pursue her dreams. He felt that was the best approach to things.

After their breakfast, Iris took his offer and used it to study further while he did the washing up. Of course, he wouldn’t force her to stay, but it certainly was more fun this way but either way he wouldn’t push her to stay or leave. Later in the day, he fetched a spare laptop so that they could play some trivia games which was good fun since there was nothing good on TV so it boring them. However, all things must come to an end as before dinner Iris decided that it was time to leave,’Thank you for letting me stay. It was really fun,’ she said as they talked at the door. Arthur smiled,’Yes, it was. You’re welcome any time.’ She did some sort of nervous chuckle and then he gave her directions to the main street and saw her off. He let out a sigh as soon as he closed the door. Alone again.

A few weeks passed since then and they went on many dates since then though neither of them mentioned the boyfriend/girlfriend thing yet, so he wasn’t sure exactly what to call it. Close friends? Friends who go on dates? Was there even something like that? It was easy to tell that he wasn’t very familiar with this sort of thing and his best reference being Alice didn’t help much either as she didn’t have a lot of experience either, though she eagerly encouraged him regarding Iris.

On those dates they would do the usual things couples did like go to the cinema, a restaurant, for a walk in the park and so on. Pretty much everything that couples did but without the touchy stuff. Arthur though wanted this to change as he was certain that he was in love with her and so wanted them to be an official couple which is why he worked up the courage and made the decision to finally talk about this topic.

Their next major outing was to see the cherry blossoms along with a picnic. They arrived in the park and were mesmerised by all the pink petals on trees,’Looks so beautiful, doesn’t it?’ He nodded his head in appreciation,’It does. Let’s find a nice spot.’ Needless to say, this was a very popular event so there were many people about so finding a space was hard, but they managed to find one with a decent view. Arthur laid out the blanket on the grass and Iris got out various snacks from the basket that she brought, which contained both store snacks and some sandwiches and biscuits that she made.

They got themselves comfortable and enjoyed the scenery while simply relaxing. Some time later, Arthur decided to finally begin the topic,’I wanted to ask you…well, we’ve been seeing each other for some time now but we aren’t exactly a boyfriend and girlfriend since he haven’t talked about it, but you haven’t exactly shrugged off my attempts either. I feel like it’s a good time so do you want to? Be my girlfriend I mean.’ Iris listened to him speak and he noticed that her expression became more troubled as her grey eyes looked at him,’Arthur… I understand where you are coming from. Don’t get me wrong I also feel the same and would like to be together with you. It’s just that…

She hesitated and didn’t finish,’What is it?’ he asked,’Is it your parents? Or are you in trouble?’ Iris shook her head,’No, I’m sure that my father would be happy with anybody as long as I was happy. It’s more complicated than that. There are special circumstances.’ Arthur nodded along,’I see. Do you want to talk about them?’ She looked at him unsure,’I’m not sure you would understand.’ He chuckled at this,’Try me. You won’t know unless you tell me.’ If this was going to be such a deal breaker, they would have to talk about it eventually. Besides, he was a pretty understanding guy so he wouldn’t judge her harshly or anything.

The truth is… that I’m spiritually aware. I can see spirits and because of that at times evil spirits come after me so by being with me your life might be at risk too,’ Iris confessed to him. Arthur couldn’t help but let out a laugh. It was just too perfect,’Hey! Don’t laugh at other people’s secrets! I’m serious.’ He recovered himself,’Sorry, I know you are. I believe you.’ She was taken aback by his sudden acceptance as most people would think her crazy,’Really?’ He nodded earnestly,’Yea, me too. I’m a Fullbringer.’ Both of them had been supressing their reiatsu so they didn’t know until now but the fact that both of them were spiritually aware was like being meant for each other. They would be able to talk about it with someone and they would understand.

Iris was surprised like him but too understood the logic behind it and let out a sigh of relief,’So, with that out of the way, what do you say?’ Their hands overlapped and she smiled,’Yes,’ before they snuggled up closer to each other,’I like it better this way.’ He finally got his answer. He would be surprised if she declined as the frequency at which they talked and went out was a bit too much for just normal friends and everyone around them could clearly see that they liked each other. However, nothing was ever certain which is why they had to talk about it. Perhaps he should have done this much earlier but they were both happy and this is all that mattered.

Word Count: 1,466

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A week passed since Arthur and Iris became an official couple though on the most part things were still the same, just with more closeness or affection. They also felt relieved that they didn’t have to hide their feelings from each other anymore and could freely talk to each other without having to hold back. Both of them preferred it much better this way.

As usual, on their weekend the two decided to stay at Alice’s café and do their normal routine of Arthur helping out, Iris studying and then playing together in the evening. However, this was interrupted by Alice just a bit after all the customers had left,’Come upstairs!’ she called to them. Arthur and Iris looked at each other in confusion but decided to listen and go. She was the boss after all. What they found instead of a clean café was all sorts of food and snacks accompanied by drink laid out on the tables.

Arthur looked from table to table at all the nice food, but it didn’t really register with him,’Nice, what’s it for?’ Alice sighed in disbelief and explained,’It’s for you two obviously! A congratulation party! I’ve waited so long for this so I’m happy that it finally happened.’ Iris was both surprised and a bit embarrassed that someone went through the effort for such an occasion, but she was happy nonetheless,’It’s a nice gesture. You didn’t have to though.’ Arthur agreed but Alice had a different opinion,’Well, now that it’s here let’s not let it go to waste. It’s only the three of us here so you don’t need to worry about anyone seeing.

They did just that as they ate something from every table, sat around and talked as they didn’t feel the time pass. Arthur could tell that Alice probably started planning this as soon as she found out and that she spent quite a lot of money on this as well. Honestly, he would prefer if she didn’t, but it gave them another reason to relax and celebrate. It was times like these that they would remember when reminiscing. Alice too now decided to be more honest with Iris and he could see that they got along fairly well. It made him wonder if they haven’t talked outside of the café as they chatted about girly stuff.

Obviously, he didn’t take part in that conversation, so he finished a few snacks that there was barely anything left of. Then, a weird feeling came over him, but he couldn’t quite tell what it was. He looked through the doors to check if there was anyone there, but he couldn’t see anything unusual. This action interested the girls, Iris in particular, as she asked,’Do you see anything?’ She was weary of a Hollow attack and wanted to be ready just in case. He shook his head but kept watching,’No, not yet.

Alice approached him and curiously looked out the door as well,’What are you looking at? Is it the stray cat again?’ The atmosphere changed from cheerful and easy-going to one of tension as all three of them become on guard against what might be lurking outside. A few long moments later a big blue something dropped from a nearby roof. He didn’t have to look long to figure out it was a Hollow, so he quickly faced Iris,’Go! Take her downstairs and stay there until I come!’ She complied and dragged away the questioning Alice as they went downstairs while he quickly went through the door to meet this Hollow.

It was quite big, at least three times his height, it was mostly blue in colour and seemed to be lizardy in nature, though instead of scales it seemed to have more metallic circular segments akin to what you would expect on a centipede. He could also see its sharp teeth and claws as well as the three sword like features coming out from each forearm. Arthur looked up at the Hollow and questioned,’What do you want?

The Hollow looked down at him like a pest,’I have come for revenge,’ it said in a raspy voice. He didn’t really understand,’Revenge? This is the first time I’m seeing you. I haven’t done anything to you.’ The Hollow agreed,’Not to me personally, but you have slain my fellow Hollows from my group, and I have watched you since then. Now I will destroy everything you cherish!’ The Hollow roared and instantly started attacking while Arthur summoned his umbrella to intercept its attack. He was pushed back from the sheer strength of this Hollow, but more than that he wasn’t able to pierce its metallic skin.

He tried every form of his umbrella to attack it, physical, reiryoku, even Gafu but he was just not able to wound it. On the other hand, the Hollow was easily able to wound him as even if he dodged it’s claws, the sword things still got him. The right side of his shirt was stained with blood as his side was bleeding and that was only the beginning of it as more wounds appeared on his arms legs and torso. It was clear that this was the strongest Hollow he met so far and as it did not have the appearance of a Gillian then it must be an Adjuchas.

His body was hurting all over and he was becoming dizzy from the blood loss. If he couldn’t find a way to kill this Hollow quickly then he would die and next on the list would be Iris and Alice. He couldn’t allow that to happen, so he had to fight. He kept analysing the body of the Hollow, but he did not see any soft spots that he could take advantage of.

Arthur noticed another reiatsu approaching as a ball of reiryoku was shot at the Hollow’s face who winced at the impact. He turned to see the shot came from Iris and there was a barrier around the café as a defensive measure though he knew it wouldn’t last long against the attacks of an Adjuchas. She looked to him worried,’If you can’t do it yourself then I will help you!’ He knew she was putting up a brave front though as she was just a normal human being without powers. However, her attack gave him an idea which should have been obvious to him.

No matter how hard the Hollow’s body was, the eyes and the inside of its mouth couldn’t possibly be hard due to biological reasons. Arthur motioned for Iris to fall back,’Go! Protect yourself! I can handle this.’ She didn’t comply this time though,’I can see what state you are in! I’m not leaving you. Especially not after I can finally be with you!’ It was clear she too couldn’t just sit back and watch as her loved one was getting killed. He let out a sigh and raised himself,’Just stay safe. I don’t want to see any wounds on you.

He changed the umbrella into gun form and aimed for its left eye and as a gunshot rang out blood exploded from the Adjuchas’ eye just a few milliseconds later. The Hollow roared in pain as it was completely blinded on the left side, but it wasn’t enough to hit the brain. Arthur shouted to Iris,’Get back! Shoot for it’s mouth when the time is right,’ as he could see the Adjuchas become infuriated and he did not want her to be anywhere near it.

The monster lashed out with its claws, swords and tail as well as it could, but it was more difficult with its now reduced vision. However, this still did not make dodges easier for the wounded Arthur but he couldn’t dodge forever as he had to destroy its other eye. Upon the next slam of its hand, Arthur dodged to the side and then quickly jumped up on its hand to run right next to its head. He changed the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella into spear form as 4 reiryoku spears appeared floating behind him. He stabbed the spear right into the Hollow’s right eye which was then followed up by the 4 spears piercing into the same spot. This roar was even louder than the previous and Iris shot another reiryoku ball into its mouth, right on queue. The now blind Hollow couldn’t dodge and was hit with the shot causing it to fall to the ground on its back.

It couldn’t close it’s mouth now either as it was burnt from the reiryoku which gave Arthur the perfect opportunity to finish it off. He jumped into its mouth and continuously stabbed his spear into the roof of its mouth to make his way toward brain. Seeing that his spear couldn’t get any further, he changed his umbrella into gun form and gathered reiryoku into the barrel to fire a charged shot which pierced its mouth and brain though it did not come out through its skull. However, this was enough for it to die as it instantly stopped moving and Arthur emerged from its mouth.

The Adjuchas started disappearing, but now that his adrenaline also disappeared, he felt his strength drain instantly as he fell to his knees. Alice emerged from the café and screamed as soon as she saw Arthur’s state. Both her and Iris ran up to him and started helping him up,’What happened?! We need to get you to a hospital!’ He shook his head,’No, no hospital.’ Alice was panicking and she couldn’t understand as tears were welling from her eyes,’What do you mean no hospital? You’ll die!’ He knew they wouldn’t be able to fix this and not in a timely manner anyway. Iris may have understanding of reiryoku but he doubted that she knew any healing techniques. Still, he looked to her anyway though his weakness was making it hard to talk,’My phone, Liz.’ Iris understood though and reached into his pocket for his phone and immediately made the call and explained the situation, obviously she was far from calm though. Liz also was quick to understand as it wasn’t the first time to happen and they decided to meet at Arthur’s house due to distance reasons. Iris and Alice each took his arm and carried him towards his house where his fate would be decided.

Word Count: 1,718

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Iris and Alice had quite a lot of trouble carrying Arthur not only because he was out of it due to blood loss but also they didn’t want to be seen by other people. Two women carrying a guy covered in wounds and blood frankly wouldn't be received very well. They tried to stop his bleeding as much as possible so that he wouldn’t bleed out before he got there.

Naturally, Liz didn’t have such troubles in getting there and using her full speed above the rooftops she got there in no time but seeing as they weren’t in his house she kept going until she met with them. As she was stronger than them, Liz carried Arthur while they made sure there were no obstacles in her way. They got to his apartment without any further trouble started his treatment immediately.

Iris first cleaned his wounds as best as she could using stuff she found in the bathroom and Liz began healing them. Alice was left outside not to disturb them as she couldn’t help in any way, but she didn’t take it personally. Even though she wasn’t panicking anymore she was still extremely worried so she just couldn’t sit still and kept pacing about.

This continued for another two hours until Liz came out from the room and told her the news,’He’ll be fine. You can go and see for yourself.’ She looked absolutely exhausted and sat herself down on the sofa and let out a sigh of relief. Alice went into Arthur’s room and saw him laying on the bed, awake, and Iris was seated beside him. However, one thing that she noticed is that his wounds were completely gone. She’d never witnessed such a miracle and she was sure he would have to heal for at least a month.

How are you feeling?’ Alice asked him still a bit worried. He nodded,’I’m fine now. Need to rest though.’ It was clear that he was still weakened but hearing it directly from him also gave her relieved some of her nerves. However, she still had no idea what actually happened to get him into that state,’Can you tell me what happened?

Arthur let out a sigh,’It’s complicated.’ This time he couldn’t lie to her since it was clear that this was not some case of mugging or theft due to his wounds. The only way he would get out of this is by telling her the truth, but he didn’t want to involve her in these affairs. She can’t take part in them so it would only make her needlessly worried all the time. Alice insisted,’Tell me! You almost died! You don’t get to avoid the subject like it never happened! If it happened once it can happen again!

Iris listened to their conversation and wanted to let them work out it out themselves, but her gut instinct didn’t let her. Arthur was her boyfriend and Alice was his best friend, she was her friend as well and out of all the people in the house only Alice didn’t know anything about it. She could understand that it was frustrating. Iris looked to Arthur,’We can’t hide it forever. She deserves to know,’ she said in a considerate tone.

He knew she was right though he still wasn’t fond of the idea of telling Alice the truth,’Ugh, me, Iris and Liz have a special trait of being spiritually aware. We can see spirits, and yes, they exist. However, just like people some spirits are assholes and will attack the living to eat them. Both me and Liz have a special power called Fullbring which lets us fight against them. I was completely unaware of this until recently. I know it sounds like I’m crazy, but this is the truth.

Like any normal person who was not able to see any of this with her own eyes, Alice found it very hard to believe and initially thought he was making some bullshit up to get rid of her. However, despite these emotions she knew that he had to get those wounds somehow and she did not see any sign of an assailant before or after it happened,’So you’ve been fighting these ‘evil spirits’ this whole time and you didn’t bother to tell me? You could have died at any time! You almost died today! And I wouldn’t even have known what happened to you!

Alice couldn’t hold it in anymore and she was furious. Putting aside whether all that was true or not, the fact that he was doing something like that behind her back was unbelievable. Granted, they didn’t have to tell each other everything but he was doing all this life risking stuff and keeping it a secret. She stormed out the room but stayed in the apartment as she didn’t know what to do with herself anymore.

Arthur sighed,’That went about as well as I expected it to,’ as he had already played out this conversation in head when this all started. Iris reached out to hold his hand,’Give her time. It’s not easy to understand it. She has to come to terms with it in her own way.’ He agreed,’Yea, hopefully it doesn’t take too long though.’ He doubted that she would cut all ties with him because of this, but it was certain that it would strain their relationship and he didn’t know if this gap could ever be overcome now.  

She stroked his hair and spoke,’I know you two so I know it will work out somehow. Anyway, let me sort them out and then I’ll come back, alright?’ He nodded,’Sure,’ and as she was leaving she made it a point to remind him,’No getting up!’ He nodded under pressure and she left,’Sheesh,’ he was supposed to be resting but with the combination of these three he wasn’t sure it was possible.

Iris looked between the other two women present in the living room, Liz was still resting on the couch with fatigue showing on her and Alice was leaning on the kitchen counter, making it a point not to look at or interact with Liz. She approached Liz first as she would be easier to deal with,’Do you want to stay for the night?’ The blue haired girl shook her head,’No, you have enough to deal with it as it is. You don’t have to worry about me, I’ll be fine on my way back.’ She knew that was true, so she let her leave. Then there was Alice.

She approached her and held her hand,’Stay here for the night. I know it’s hard to come to terms with it, so I think it’s best for you to stay here and think through it rather than go out and do something stupid. You can ask me anything and I promise I’ll answer. You can sleep in the spare room.’ Alice thought about it and nodded,’Yea, alright.’ She went to the room without a further word.

Iris returned to Arthur’s room and laid down besides him,’I’m staying with you tonight.’ He smiled,’How lovely. Big spoon?’ She chuckled and snuggled up to him,’Fine.’ Despite all this stuff happening, they had to just be themselves. This is what their lives would look like for a long time, so they just had to get used to it. However, this also served as a reminder for her that Arthur was not an invincible warrior like her father, and she should not take it for granted. That’s why she wanted to cherish every bit of a normal life that they could have.

Word Count: 1,262

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite not being physically able to be any closer to Iris, Arthur slept far from well. Due to his weakened state he was a bit delirious in his sleep which caused him to have bad dreams. What he saw was the continuation of the fight but in this version the Hollow left him broken on the side while he destroyed the café with every swipe of its hands. Very quickly Iris and Alice became cornered and had nowhere to escape. It took a hold of them and then limb by limb started eating them as horrifying screams and blood filled his vision while he wasn’t able to do anything.

He woke up sweating, but Iris was still being held by him, in fact it seemed he didn’t let go of her since they fell asleep. She was fine. All her limbs were there, and she wasn’t wounded. He heard her shallow breaths accompanied by the movement of her stomach as she did so. Truth be told, it was quite hot to be sleeping so close with each other, but this heat is precisely the reason why he fought. Arthur held her a bit tighter and tried to sleep again.

In the morning, they had breakfast like normal but with the exception of a very awkward atmosphere. It was hard to imagine that the previous night the three of them were partying together and chatting about stupid things. It almost felt fake and this was the reality. He couldn’t blame her though as he remembered that he was quite downed when Layla explained all these things to him. He felt lost and didn’t know what to do. Surely, that must be what Alice was feeling right now.

Not much was said by any of them, though Iris tried her best to ease up the tension Alice only answered her with the bare minimum. He didn’t think that she was directly angry at her, but it was more to do that Iris was also involved in this. After breakfast, Alice quickly left though both of them didn’t feel like she would do something reckless now and it was more that she needed to be alone. They saw her off and continued about normally. Arthur was well enough to walk about but he was still a bit unsteady. If he didn’t have the enormous stamina that he has he would certainly have died before they even reached his house.

That’s why he decided to take it easy for now and just rest on the sofa in front of the TV. His wounds may be gone but that didn’t restore his missing blood and his muscles still hurt. Iris was washing the dishes from breakfast though she joined him upon finishing, and they snuggled up together again. They both thought about what will come next after this and he was first,’What if more like him come after us? I don’t think I will be able to handle them.

Arthur had never really thought about it till now but how many of the Hollows that he killed were in a group like this? No doubt they were also led by strong Hollows that may want revenge and if they all grouped up against him then his death would be certain. Iris answered him,’It will be fine, it was just a bad match up for you. Not only did his skin seem naturally hard but he also had a hard Hierro. You are not the type to just brute force things so you had to find a better way. I think that maybe you also panicked since you knew that we were behind you which prevented you from thinking clearly.

It was definitely a sound analysis that he agreed with, but the point still stood,’All strong Hollows will have some sort of gimmick to them though. Bad match up or not I have to win or you or I die.’ She knew that was true and couldn’t argue against it but there was also something he wasn’t seeing. She squeezed his hand,’You still have a long way to go. You haven’t reached your limit yet and your Fullbring isn’t complete yet. You will only keep getting stronger. I believe in you.’ He didn’t really know what to say to that. It was true but at the same time they didn’t have a lot of time and it wasn’t possible to get much stronger over a day.

Seeing his lack of confidence Iris knew that she had to do something to cheer him up. She shifted position and sat on his lap while he looked into her grey eyes. She placed her slender hands on his face,’Most of my childhood I was always afraid. At first, of what will happen to me as my future was uncertain. Then, I encountered Hollow and I went through everyday in fear of being attacked. Granted, I had the most capable guardian protecting me but still, I was scared to go out alone. Living every day in fear is no way to live.’ He could see deep sadness in her eyes as tears were beginning to build up but was quickly replaced by a smile,’But we can’t let that dictate our lives. No matter what happens I will be here with you and support you. I want to, I want us to be happy.’ That’s what he wanted too. Iris’ face came closer to his,’I love you,’ she said and kissed him.

After a few moments passed, she brought her head back and they simply looked at each other,’I love you too,’ he said. Moments passed and their gazes did not falter. They didn’t feel the time passing though. They only felt each other’s presence and warmth. Their hearts beat for each other and desired to be with one another. Iris then brought his head to her chest and embraced him,’It will be alright, you hear? Alice too will come to terms with it and then you two will make up. I’m sure that you are the most important person to her, and this won’t change it.

They stayed like this for another minute or so before Iris sat back on the sofa. She supported him and he would support her. That’s how it should be. It may not seem like much but that greatly helped him,’Thank you,’ he said sincerely. She smiled,’Any time,’ and they returned to resting but this time with a more peaceful mindset.

Another hour passed,’We should go somewhere together. To another town or maybe another country. Just to relax and take our mind off things. My lessons will finish this week so we can go for the weekend. How about it?’ It seemed like a very good idea, so he agreed without further thought,’Sure, any place you have in mind?’ Iris nodded,’Let’s go to the town my father lives in. It’s a 2-hour train ride from here. I’ll show you around and you’ll get to meet him. Oh, and Emily too.’  

This idea came mostly from the fact that if she showed him what the peak of strength looked like then maybe it would give him an ideal to look up to. However, she didn’t need him to be the strongest or whatever, and she definitely didn’t want him to have the same burden as her father. Furthermore, she did just want to go somewhere, and this was close distance, so it worked well with his schedule.

Arthur nodded,’Alright, sounds like a plan. I haven’t seen much in Japan outside of Karakura so no matter how small the town is it will be something new for me. I’m going to take this week off from work to recover properly. From Duality too.’ Iris was happy at his answer,’Alright, so the plan is set. Friday evening?’ Arthur agreed,’And until then? Will you stay?’ Iris looked to him with expectation,’Do you want me to?’ He smiled,’Yes,’ and she smiled in kind,’Then I will. I just need to get my things from the house. Also, the fridge is a bit empty, so I’ll go to the store as well. Anything you want?’ He thought for a moment,’You did promise me that pizza. Apart from that I leave it to you. I need to eat properly to recover and get stronger after all.’ She chuckled,’Fine, but I don’t want to spoil you too much or you’ll get used to it.’ A sad expression appeared on his face as he voiced his complaint,’But that’s the best part!’ They both laughed and went about their normal lives together.

Word Count: 1,426

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 5 days passed quickly as Arthur lazed about in his house during the day and spent the evenings with Iris. Despite the circumstances that caused this, he really was happy at how these 5 days passed and it would surely only get better with their trip. It was easy to get caught up in normal routine of work, eat, sleep and now killing Hollows but it was things like this that made him truly feel alive. He felt like these moments were the ones that defined who he truly was. A normal person with a side of Fullbringer.

After Iris returned home on Friday, they quickly started packing so that they could leave as soon as possible. In truth, they didn’t need to pack that much as they would be gone for two days so they managed with one smaller suitcase in which they packed two days’ worth of clothes along with cosmetics and other essentials as well as some less essential stuff.

They checked around the house to make sure that they didn’t leave anything on and that they had everything with them and off they went hand in hand to the train station where they bought their tickets for the next train. After a short wait, they got on the train, got comfortable and enjoyed the ride.

About 30 minutes into their ride, Iris decided to talk about a more serious topic,’I need to tell you something. It’s about my family situation.’ They haven’t really talked much about their families as there was no need to but know that he was going to meet hers she wanted him to know. He encouraged her with a nod,’Go ahead.’ As she needed to work up the courage to do so it was clear that she didn’t really tell this to anyone, just like about her being spiritually aware, so this was another of her secrets,’My father is a Shinigami, well a Vizard to be precise and he used to be a Captain of a Squad.

That would explain why she was spiritually aware, but another thing didn’t make sense,’How come you don’t have any Shinigami powers then?’ Iris answered hesitantly,’I’m adopted. He took me in after saving me from a Hollow. I’ve been living with him from then on until I came here to study.’ Arthur listened to what she had to say and didn’t judge her,’How come he lives here instead of Soul Society?’ She let out a sigh,’He was exiled though I’ll let him tell you the details of that when he wishes.’ He nodded,’Sure, you mentioned Emily as well?’ Iris nodded,’She’s also a Shinigami, we took her in after she was almost killed by a Hollow.

From that Arthur could deduce that while Emily was a part of the family, she wasn’t a motherly figure for Iris as she referred to her by name. Though he didn’t doubt that they probably had a strong bond with each other. Either way he was fine with all this,’Thank you for telling me.’ Seeing that he had no problems with it Iris smiled cheerfully.

He then reached into the inside pocket of his jacket at took out a small gift box and slid it over to Iris,’What’s this?’ she asked confused. Arthur smiled,’You finished your studies so think of it as a graduation gift. Though we can do something more special when the times comes.’ She blushed a bit,’I haven’t graduated yet though. I still have exams next month.’ He encouraged her to open it,’It’s fine. Let it be your motivator then.’ She reached for the box and slowly opened it as surprise appeared on her face as she took out the contents,’You didn’t have to…’ He gave her another earnest smile,’You’ve been here for me all this time. It’s the least I can do for you.

Iris raised the necklace to her neck and connected the two ends so that it now rested it on her chest. She looked down at the small triangular decoration and smiled. It wasn’t exactly the definition of ‘fancy’ but that made it all the more convenient to wear anywhere and anytime. Besides, they both appreciated the sentiment of a gift more than its value. Iris gave him a kiss and thanked him for the gift letting them spend the rest of the journey in a good mood.

After they had arrived, there was a further 20 minute that they had to make to get to the house. At first glance, it seemed like a nice place though they would officially be doing the sightseeing tomorrow, so he also wanted to save the curiosity until then. When they approached the house, Arthur felt that he was passing through a barrier though he could not see it. The door was opened by a woman with black hair that was tied up in a style that he did not really know how to name and she also had light brown eyes,’Come in, we’ve been waiting,’ she said in a friendly tone with a smiled of her face.

He followed in behind Iris and took in his surroundings. It was a pretty normal house which looked cosy and he could smell some nice food nearby so they must have prepared dinner for them. Iris embraced Emily as a greeting and then her father who approached them. He greeted Emily and they introduced themselves while Iris was greeting her father.

Arthur then approached the father who was slightly taller than him and also had black hair though his was longer and it didn’t seem like he had styled it in any particular manner. He also had blue eyes and a short beard, and they shook hands,’Oh, a Fullbringer.’ He was a bit taken aback by this sudden statement and it amazed him that he was instantly found out. It was probably likely that he didn’t the handshake to tell,’I’m Vincent. Nice to meet you.’ Arthur smiled nervously which he assumed every guy felt when meeting the father of their girlfriend,’Arthur. Nice to meet you too.

Then they had dinner together as they talked about different things. Iris was filling them in on some of the things that happened since they last saw each other, and Arthur also talked a bit more about himself so that everyone knew each other. Out of the two, it was Emily who was the more talkative one which Vincent seemed to be quieter, but he still chimed in from time to time. From his analysis he would have expected the opposite though it wasn’t such a problem. He couldn’t expect to form a very strong bond with them on the first meeting, much less in 2 days.

As it was late evening, they only sat around for a few hours more before going to sleep,’So, what is your first impression?’ Iris asked him as they laid in bed. He wasn’t really sure how to word his answer though,’They seem like nice people. I haven’t met any other Shinigami yet, but they seem just like you or me. I’m certain we can get along.’ She smiled gently,’I’m glad. I suppose that they aren’t your normal Shinigami though so I’m not sure if they are the best representatives of the race but yes, they are easy to get along with.

The next day, like promised they went sightseeing. It wasn’t a big town, maybe even smaller than Karakura but, it wasn’t without its attraction. First of all, it was a seaside town so the first thing they went to see was the shoreline. The water was still too cold to swim at this time of the year, but it made for a nice stroll and the water and beach itself were very clean which Arthur liked a lot. Walking along the shore they went onto the pier and saw some minor attractions and decided to have a game of mini golf nearby while they were close.

They went back the way they came as their next stop was an aquarium which was of smaller size but still very entertaining as they spent a full hour and a half admiring all the colourful small fishes and there were a few lizards that caught his interest as well. After this they found a small and quiet food place at which they stopped at for some time as it was way past lunch time. They continued their sightseeing by going to the local park which was much bigger than what Karakura had. It made him happy that a small town like this had a mix of both the sea and greenery, it almost felt like a holiday location.

The two of them sat around in the park for another 2 hours before going back to the house where a party welcomed them. It seemed that just like Arthur, Emily and Vincent wanted to celebrate her finishing her studies and rightly so as it was a big event in everyone’s lives. The party went on as everyone enjoyed themselves and it was a good atmosphere all around. Today was probably the most relaxing and fun day they’ve had since they met each other. The party went on for another few hours into the night, but they had to quiet down as it was really late so eventually everyone set about doing their own thing.

Arthur and Iris went upstairs to their room as they wanted to rest a bit after all the walking they’ve done today. Both of them decided to read a bit, Iris a book that she brought with her and Arthur on his phone browsing his usual websites and forums. After a while he got thirsty, so he went downstairs to see no sign of Emily or Vincent but the door to the garden was open. He went out to see both of them sitting on lounge chairs and drinking though there didn’t seem to be much in the way of conversation.

Emily noticed him so invited him over,’Come, join us.’ Arthur got himself a spar chair and sat with them. Vincent raised a bottle of whiskey and shook it,’You want?’ He shook his head though as he wasn’t looking for that kind of drink. They were both looking at the clear night sky full of stars,’Doesn’t it look nice?’ Arthur agreed,’The whole world is under the same sky and yet it can feel so different depending on where you go.’ Vincent nodded,’Well said.

They sat in silence admiring the sky as it brought a sense of calmness,’So, what has been bothering you?’ He looked surprised at him as if he was once again seeing straight through him,’How did I know? I’m sure that Iris brought you here for more than just an introduction. Besides, you are Fullbringer and we all carry some kind of burden.’ He decided to be honest and tell him of the recent Adjuchas attack and told him of his worries concerning his strength.

Vincent listened intently,’I see, so that’s it. Well, let me tell you something. As you know space and time are linked. People who say ‘I want to go back to that place’ can never actually do so. While they can return to the place physically and be on the same space axis, the ‘place’ is a feeling that is linked with time and people change over time. It’s impossible to return.’ Arthur could see that somehow the man seemed to be saddened by what he said. Perhaps because of the burned he carried what he now said was contradicting himself. He continued,’That’s why you shouldn’t hold onto the past so strongly. However, if all you ever do is look to the future then you are also missing something crucial. You don’t enjoy the moment. Your lifespan is short so you should simply enjoy the moment. Everything else will work itself out. I’m sure you have strong allies that will support you. You don’t have to carry the burden alone.

Arthur listened to this quite philosophical speech and it got him thinking. It was like Iris said that they can’t live every day in fear and that they wanted to be happy. Having a dual life didn’t mean you have to sacrifice one or the other, but that you should make the best of both. He shouldn’t have to feel guilty of not constantly training and wanting to have some quality time with Iris. That was also a big part of his life and arguably the more important one as they would forge their future together. He nodded,’I understand.’ Vincent smiled and a coin appeared in his hand that he flicked to him. It was a silver coin with the symbol of a dragon on it,’If you feel that the enemy is well beyond you then pour your reiryoku into the coin and I will come to your aid.

He didn’t really want to have to rely on something like this, but it was good to have a powerful ally like this,’Thank you.’ Vincent then motioned to the door with his head,’Now go. Enjoy the moment,’ he said with a gentle smile. Arthur did exactly that as he returned to their room and looked at Iris,’Let’s do something.’ She looked at him confused,’Hmm? Like what?’ He didn’t really think that far ahead,’I don’t know… Something fun.’ She looked around the room for any ideas, but nothing came to mind as she didn’t have much in here, save plenty of space. What could they do with that space? An idea finally came to mind and she put down her book,’Do you know how to dance?’  

Arthur shook his head a bit embarrassed,’No,’ which made her smile,’I’ll teach you then. Let’s dance!’ She put on some music and they stood in the middle of the room,’Here, hold my right hand with your left and put your right hand on my hip.’ He did as she told him,’Now I’ll lead, and you follow my movements.’ As her feet moved so did his as they mirrored her actions,’Try not to step on my feet, but don’t keep looking down. Look at me,’ she reprimanded him after a few missteps here and there. The movement felt a bit awkward and weird at first but luckily, he was more flexible thanks to battle, so he got the hang of the key motions quickly. They continued like this for some time until she showed him how to do spins properly to spice it up a bit more. Then Iris showed him a different style all together,'Now step forward, right hands together, step backwards. Step forward, left hands together and step back. Step forward, right hands together and now circle to the left. Switch to left hands and circle to the right and repeat from beginning.' This one he definitely hadn't come across before, but because it was slower it also felt more intimate as their hands joined and they looked into each other's eyes. It was just the two of them dancing in their room with no one else to disturb them. They didn’t need anything more as they were perfectly content with just being together. That’s what enjoying the moment meant.

Word Count: 2,525

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The next day everyone slept in to recover after the previous late night. Unfortunately, this was the last day of their trip, but they decided to spend it indoors. They were outside most of yesterday after all and saw most of the things to see so it was a good balance. However, to prevent everyone from just lazing about, they played a few boards games and stuff like Jenga and charades. It was a good bonding exercise and was quite an experience. He never imagined that the first Shinigami that he would meet he would be just casually playing games with. However, like Iris said he should not take this at face value as it would be rare to find others like this. In a way, the four of them were a group of anomalies.

Since they woke up late, they skipped lunch and simply had dinner earlier after which Arthur and Iris began to pack their things which didn’t require much effort as most of them were in the suitcase to begin with. The two of them said their goodbyes and started making their way towards the train station,’It was a nice experience, but I think next time we should go somewhere newer. Somewhere where we both haven’t been so that we both get to experience it.’ Iris smiled,’It certainly was fun, but I do agree. Unfortunately, there isn’t anything new for me to see here but it’s nice to be back, nonetheless. Where do you want to go?

Arthur thought about some nice locations,’I don’t know, maybe Spain or Italy? There are still many things to see back in England as well.’ Since both of them haven’t travelled anywhere else apart from England and Japan, there were many countries out there for them to experience. Just like now, they could simply go away somewhere for the weekend and experience a new city. Iris nodded,’Alright, let’s make a list of places we want to see and do. Then we can start planning for them. A bit like a bucket list I guess.

He agreed with this proposition and they kept walking. Finding these sorts of things to do was important as a relationship had to be nurtured. As much as they liked simply being together not doing anything special, they didn’t want it to become a routine and wanted events like these to spice things up.

On the train, there wasn’t as much conversation as on the way here. Mainly due to the fact that Iris was napping on his shoulder while he was looking out the window. In truth, Arthur wouldn’t mind a nap himself but one of them had to be awake to not miss their stop, so it fell on him. They arrived home without any further trouble and unpacked their things before having dinner.

Later in the evening, while they were watching TV on the sofa there was a knock at the door. He got up from the sofa and went to open the door to see who it might be at this time. Arthur saw Alice standing there looking unsure about what to say. They haven’t spoken a word to each other since the fight, so it was hard for either of them to start a conversation as the same awkwardness lingered,’You didn’t open yesterday…’ She started with that and he nodded,’I was away on a trip with Iris over the weekend.’ Alice didn’t really know what to say so she simply confirmed,’I see.’ He let out a sigh and knew that this wouldn’t get anywhere like this, so they had to stop beating around the bush,’What is the decision you made?

She looked at him,’I’ll forgive you… But you have to tell me beforehand any time that you will be fighting!’ It was only fair,’Sure, I can do that.’ Alice embraced him and he did so as well in addition to patting her back,’Don’t worry. I’ll make sure nothing happens to both you and Iris. I promise.’ She was certain that he would keep it but that was not what she was worried about,’What about yourself?’ He smiled,’I’ve got you two looking after me as well as everyone in Duality. I’m not alone in this.

No matter their capabilities, they would be there for him and support him. He understood that now. No longer would he have to keep it all to himself and bottle up all the worries and anxiety. He wouldn’t fear the possibilities of what could happen the next day, week or month. He would simply tackle it as best as he can. That’s all he could do. Since they were reconciled another burden has been lifted off his shoulders,’It’s late now. You should hurry on home. We’ll visit like normal.’ Alice agreed and did like he said.

Arthur returned to the sofa to a smiling Iris,’See? Told you it would work out.’ He nodded,’Yea, feels good.’ She snuggled up to him,’I want you to tell me too though, okay?’ He nodded,’Of course. I won’t hide anything from you, and I won’t keep secrets. You are the one I will rely on the most after all.’ She was happy with his answer,’The same goes for me as well.’ This was the way they have been up until now and the way that they will continue to be.

Another thought came to his mind as he was thinking about tomorrow. Iris was staying with him because he was recovering but now with that done, he was wondering if she wanted to stay more,’I know it’s a bit soon, but would you like to move in? Permanently, I mean.’ This week served them well as a trial week and it went very well. They both had their alone time and their individual space, but they also had plenty of together time. He quickly became used to her presence everywhere in his house and Iris too felt very at home so there was no reason not to continue living like this.

Iris was considering the same thing and what she wanted to do from now on. Going back to the flat that she was renting would only prove a disadvantage. During the day, they would work like normal and the evenings would be theirs to spend together or even separately but still within an arm’s reach. Just like her father created a home for her, this new home is where she was most happy right now. Why leave? Stay with him her heart and mind were telling her and of course that is what she wanted,’Yes, I want to live with you from now. I’ll have to get the rest of my things from my flat and then sort out the contract stuff with my landlord. Then we can live together wherever we want,’ she said happily.

She didn’t care about something like ‘too soon’ as she felt like a lot of time that was simply an excuse couples used. However, both of them were happy and thrived off the other’s presence and were serious and committed to each other. Like Arthur said, they had nothing to hide so they should simply do what makes them the happiest. Thus, from that day onwards they lived together as their normal lives continued. Iris still had to study for her final exams while Arthur went back to work and continued his Duality duties as many challenges yet awaited him.

Word Count: 1,234

Thread Complete

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this