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Ryan and Delmore out on a date, part 3

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Now they’re out of the water, standing on the seashore admiring the majesty of the mesmerizing landscape surrounding them, her head on his shoulder, his arm holding her by the waist, waiting there to dry out, because they’ve no towels, obviously. Their silence was satisfying… Fulfilling. No words were needed. The crash of waves against the sand, the choking calls of seagulls, the soft-blowing wing, the smell of the whole place altogether… All of these components combined together produced a relaxing melody and it was enough for both of them.

The date has reached its final phase. Best part saved for last. Why you might wonder, would a pizza, coke and video games be the best part? Isn’t it clear enough? YES. That’s it. Of course, he asked her before about what a perfect date would be for her. He spent days planning for this day, so it would be nothing but flawlessly PERFECT.

Yes, he checked the weather forecast. Yes, he chose which safer route to take to his destinations according to thorough research and statistics. Yes, he consulted his female friends on which movie theater to take her and which beach would provide more privacy. And yes, he placed an order on the pizza, a day before the date, to be delivered at exactly 8 p.m to his: place. There was no room for glitches or chance. NONE. Willpower at its finest and purest moments.

He still has an hour to head back to his apartment which was enough. They kept quiet on the way, but if they could hear each other’s thoughts, they wouldn’t be disappointed at all. A wide grin was lighting up his face, as to a shy smile was beaming on hers. He put on some music to go with the mood -Chase Coy_If the mood fell down tonight- one of his favorite songs. She leaned back in her seat, closed her eyes and savored the idyllic, dulcet tones of the acoustic guitar.

He threw a glance at her and boy… Could he ever get tired of looking at her beatific face, looking so halcyon? The only thing that was lacking, he thought, was the golden halo on top of her head.

It’s 7:48 now and they’re at his place. It was a nice loft with hipster decoration, well, you couldn’t actually tell whether it was hipster or Gothic or a mixture or a completely new genre. Let’s go with either Hipthic or Gopster, whatever sounds best to you, I don’t care. The first thing that you’d see upon opening the door is a spacious living room that has what it looks like a multi-dark-colors sofa, a painted-navy-blue, round, wooden coffee table right in front of the sofa resting over a distressed, woolen, purple rug and a 42 inch plasma TV that he uses on occasion. A DVD player and various consoles and DVDs are arranged inside a wide wooden shelf right under the TV.

On the left would be the kitchen area. It was clean and organized. Shelves stocked with all the kitchen tools needed. A big 2 sided fridge stands tall in the middle, between a set of wooden cabinets, filled with lots of water bottles, veggies, and fruit, all sorts of meat except pork and no alcohol. There’s also whole wheat pasta and other healthy stuff. Women love a guy who takes care of himself and Ryan’s very good at that. In the very middle, lies a, what looks like, DIY-ed counter with Italian marble counter-top with swivel bar stools scattered around it. There’s, also, this specific thing that would catch anyone’s attention which is the steel serving cart resting next to an Elodie, grey sideboard at the end of the area. He does like his little trinkets, except this one is not that little.

At the far end of the opposite side, you’d lay eyes on a steel, pinned-to-the-floor black latter, serving as stairs, leading upward to his bedroom, where the magic happens. Never mind the last bit, I’ve always wanted to say that.

It only takes you one peek from the edge of the latter to figure out around 80% of Ryan’s bedroom. A king-sized custom-made bed with comfy pillows and clean sheets right at the center of the vast space, a big desk on the far side of the room with scattered papers all over it. You could see the bottle of ink and feather dipped in it. Elegant decorations were hanging on the wall either from DIY-ed, impressive-looking shelves, like trophies, diplomas, certificates, rare video games collectibles, superhero figurines and keychains, etc.. Oh yes, he’s quite the video-games/superhero fanatic alright. He watched all of the Marvel and DC animated and cinematic movies, TV series and cartoons with no exception. His favorite TV series being DareDevil, his favorite cinematic movie being Deadpool, his favorite animated movie Batman: the killing joke and his favorite cartoon is young justice.

Stick to the brick walls, were a couple of superhero posters, most of them being Deadpool’s, his forever favorite. By the way, Deadpool isn’t really a superhero, he was first listed as a villain but then upgraded to the anti-hero list, just like the Punisher and other characters. With nail support, there was this particular intriguing portray of several gloomy scratched faces hanging over the bed sending blue vibes, as if there was a tormented soul behind them. If there was one word best to describe it, it would be « melancholic ».

There were also nature paintings, forests to be exact. Oh, he loves forests. He loves the tall trees, the damp soil, the petrichor, the cloudy weather, the high cliffs, etc… A spacious shack in the middle of nowhere is one of his wild dreams where he could go on living a simple life with a partner. All of his dreams requires the presence of a partner, a female partner. Whose better to be there for you in ups and downs other than your significant other?

And he’s contemplating her right now, his eyes never letting her out of sight, drinking her in, absorbing her presence, savoring her company.

The ringing doorbell disconnected their unparalleled tray of thoughts. Pizza’s here. Fun time. She excused herself as she headed to the restroom, the one next to his bedroom. The delivery guy was offered a generous tip for being on time. He grabbed the pizza and proceeded to the living room to set the place.

There wasn’t much to do. He was 99% prepared. He just laid the pizza on the table, brought the cans of coke out of the fridge, turned on his PS4 and chose a combat game « Tekken 7 ». This is going to get competitive. He didn’t have to wait long until she emerged out of the restroom. But before she took a seat next to him, she headed to the stereo set, on the far side of the living room right beside his serving cart. Delmore examined the CDs and grabbed what she was looking for. Demi Lovato’s latest album.

You’d wonder how the hell did it get there since if you had to pick the odd CD out of the whole collection, it would definitely be Demi Lovato’s CD. That type of music is light years away from his preferable taste. A Demi Lovato album CD resting in the middle of all Three Days Grace’s albums, some of Nickelback’s albums, some of Breaking Benjamin’s albums, some of Steel Panther’s albums. In case you don’t know who Steel Panther are and you’re a conservative person, I beg of you to please not listen to them. There were also several burner CDs with an assemblage of tracks – « assemblage » here is a fancy synonym of the word « collection » from a French descend – he selected specifically for his own liking that includes some of Anberlin, Chase Coy, Veil Of Maya, Plini, Frank Sinatra, Eminem, Metallica, Motorhead, Megadeath, Rev Theory, Aurora, SYML, Yellowcard, Simple Plan and the list goes on and on… So yeah, now you know why the Demi Lovato CD wins the award of « how the hell did you end up here with the other CDs » award, and the answer to that question is obvious. Yes, that’s it. Oh no, he didn’t develop a crush on Demi Lovato. Gosh no! The other explanation! Demi Lovato is Delmore’s favorite musician and she loves her songs, so our friend Ryan went out to the CD store down the corner next to the pastry shop from which he always buys a piece of fruit tart and a mocha each morning on his way to work.

Maybe by now you’re thinking ‘What a hopeless, desperate dumb*ss! He’s doing all of this for nothing. When she sees that he’s done all of what he has so far, she’d consider him as an obsessed stalker and he’ll drive her away’ while some of you might go ‘AWWWWWE OMG that’s so adorable! I wish someone would do something like that for me for once!’

No matter where you stand upon the matter, the fact that can’t be ignored is that he’s putting some extraordinary effort into the whole thing. He’s stepping out of his comfort zone just for the mere sake of impressing her. Some say that’s more than enough, others disagree. So far, so good for him.

So, she put the CD in the stereo system and clicked play. Immediately after the first song started blasting, she began to dance, jumping all over the place, hair like and electric fan twirling from side to side, up and down while he was sitting on his sofa, in a comfortable seated position, yet again contemplating her. He was staring at her in complete awe and admiration, you can read his feelings just by looking at his eyes. That moment, they were so expressive. He was staring at her like a guy would stare at his beloved one when she’s doing something, not paying much attention to him, and he’d just sit there and watch her with this « I must’ve done something right to deserve her in my life » look on his face. You know what I’m talking about. There’s a picture of Barack Obama doing just that to his wife circulating on Facebook. And another one of a scene from the movie Tangled with the caption ‘I wish someone would look at me like that’. She was dancing, bare feet, carefree and not giving a damn about worries. She stopped, turned her head to the side taking a good look at Ryan, and strode towards him playfully, asking for his hand to dance.

« Come on. Dance with me. Let’s have fun! »

« No, I… I don’t dance. »

« Don’t ask me, I don’t dance, don’t ask me, I don’t dance… Madame with you » and she broke off laughing while he was staring at her flabbergasted.

« Hello! I’m quoting Frank Sinatra… His song… I don’t dance? I saw the name on one of your CD burners »

Waw… Do you have any idea what she just did right there? She just copied one of his signature moves. What move that is you ask? Let me break down one of Ryan’s funny signature moves that always works when he tries to make a girl laugh: so they’d be in the middle of a conversation and she stops with a word or a sentence that’s the title or a part of the lyrics of a song and he just starts singing that song. Very silly, yet effective. And with that move, her score to just went up from perfect to too perfect, a couple of points and she’d reach godess level to him and he’d build her a temple and start a new religion after her. Just kidding!

« Never mind » She continued rolling her eyes « Come on you scardy cat. I’ll teach you »

« No seriously, I’m fine over here. I’m good with just watching you do your thing. It’s quite pleasant actually. You’re… Very good » He said, partially blushing, shifting uncomfortably in his place.

And that’s when she goes down on one knee, bows her head down, offers her hand out and says:

« Would your majesty please honor me with a dance? »

He couldn’t help himself but crack a chuckle and then nodded, taking her hand and replied in a flawless British accent:

« Why of course my lovely lady. How could I ever deny you a quest? »

So they danced and danced until their feet could no longer bare it, and their throats went dry.

« I need a drink » declared Delmore.

« Help yourself to a soda, but don’t you dare steal a slice of pizza behind my back » Replied Ryan teasing « I think it’s about time that you and I get to see who’s the better gamer in this room »

He went back to the sofa, took his place and motioned her to take her place next to him. She sat down, brought a knee to her chest and took a concentration position, he handed her a joystick then smirked at her with a devious naughty idea of his own.

He looked at her sideways all smugly and such and she eyed him questioningly and he finally said:

– How about we make this interesting?

– What do you mean? She replied, a little bit suspicious.

– Well… He paused for a second, for dramatic effects. He was enjoying his wicked thought a little more than he should, not thinking about the probability that it could backfire at him. But he was on consequences-be-damned mode.

– Each time, He carried on, one of us lose, he has to get rid of a piece of clothing.

She grimaced a defying expression and responded:

– You’re ON. Get ready to strip.

Oh was he so determined to win! They set a gaming marathon composed of several two-player games including Tekken 7, Need for speed most wanted, PES 2017, NBA 2k17, Mortal Combat X, Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League. Each game, 3 matches. And be sure that with those hardcore gamers, bragging would become their middle name. Since Tekken and PES 2017 were his corn and bread, he had such a rush kicking her butt causing her to lose her top and trousers, her sandals were already off before his bold preposition.

It was at this point where the table turned. Being distracted by her exposed enticing body parts and eagerness to see the rest of what remains covered, caused by his treacherous hormones. That worked well at her advantage as she came out victorious at both Street Fighter and Mortal Combat. To her astonishment, she noticed that he was wearing an extra layer of undergarments.

– YOU TRICKED ME! She blurted out. You set this up you… You Bastard! She accused as she punched him on the shoulder. And indeed he did. He was able to put on the extra layer of clothes right after paying the pizza guy.

Acting all innocently, with a secret chuckle, he replied:

– No I didn’t. I was wearing them the whole time!

– No you weren’t. I saw what you were wearing at the beach. That undershirt and those shorts weren’t on the pile of clothes when we… Oups… She blushed as she stopped herself right there remembering the beach incident. I don’t think any of them would ever forget that. Not for a very, very long time.

During a situation like this, Ryan was presented with 2 options: either take the opportunity while the memory is evoked to revisit it sofa style or distract themselves from his thoughts by confessing that she’s right and that the trap was all planned. So, he burst out laughing:

– Alright, alright you got me. But it’s not against the rules. He said that with a wink.

– I am so going to get you for this. She said back, narrowing her eyes at him but failing to fully contain a faint smile.

– How about raising the stakes? Ryan asked cocking his head to one side.

– What do you have in mind Mr.Sinister? Boy, did he love that comic book reference! Is there any chance that she could possess any imperfections at all? He thought.

– I suggest, Ryan replied, for each match won, the winner gets to put on a piece of clothing back. However… He, suddenly went silent, his wicked grin growing wider making him look like the Grinch on Christmas eve after a bad deed. He was enjoying his little game, having fun being in control over the events. After a few moments he continued, The loser has to take off two.

– Hmmm… She replied thoughtfully, you have a deal. And they shook on it.

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À vos plumes

Seeker of Fate: Part10, the last

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After the blackness of a rainy night, the golden star rose on the horizon, spreading her radiance in every direction.

She was sleeping soundly and calmly like a little child beneath a tree. This time, her ugly face half was no more. It returned to what it was once. Now, she was no different than a charming young princess with silver grey hair. The warmth coming from the sun actually did surprise her and made her wake up abruptly.

“Ehh.. It’s the sun. But this is… strange. Why am I not affected by it? And… why is my head not hurting me anymore when I’m without the mask covering my accursed face?” She touched her face to see that it was smooth and silky. “This can’t be?!” She shouted surprisingly. Besides, she saw the giant headless corpse of Perun evaporating into nothingness. That void purplish dark substance that reeked from his body was instantly disappearing under the rays of sunlight.

“I can’t remember a thing after that Immortal Prince beheaded Perun. Where did he go?” Spoke the Huntress to herself.

Under the mist that swirled thicker than the threads of silk, the Huntress stepped on. She was feeling strangely as if her sensations had returned to her. Before, she would never feel warmth or cold. Now, she was sensing every kind of refreshment and emotion.

She saw Melvim in a lesser human-sized form, tending to what was once the mighty dragon of Veles that fused together with Boran to fight Perun not so long ago.

“We were waiting for you.” Said the prince after sensing her coming.

The Huntress was however more concerned by the state of the dragon who lost most of his body as it turned all into glowing mist that was dancing around them and only its main serpentine head remained.

A familiar voice spoke from the colossus head:

“I see you have restored some of your humanity.”

“Ehh? What?” The Huntress was surprised hearing that. Humanity? She never felt related to this word at all since decades.

“That’s to be expected from the chosen of the Witch. Each Immortal had its own perk and without a doubt you were blessed by the best of them, Undead Slayer.” Said Melvim.

“But… Who is this dragon exactly? Isn’t he a mindless beast of that Immortal Veles?” She wondered.

“ Oh, that’s rude of you! I’m so sad! You did not know me yet?! I’m Boran!” Yelled miserably that voice coming from within the skull of the dragon that lost its flesh already.

“That Sun Knight?! Oh, so you were able to control the beast from within. This… this is insane! You must be a very powerful necromancer to able to do such a feat. I can’t imagine that you escaped my mystic vision without being far stronger than me.” Boasted the Huntress.

“It might not be the case. It’s far more complicated than that.” Said Melvim.

“Now, Huntress, since I will be parting soon, I have to tell you my little story.” A jade emerald spirit emerged from the skull and it was indeed the manifestation of the Sun Knight Boran.

“I’m not a necromancer, an undead, a lich or an Immortal or anything else. I’m just a ghost, a phantom who had very specific circumstances that allowed it to materialize efficiently and gain an enormous consciousness that was not supposed to be held by a phantom.” Said Boran.

The Huntress was extremely shocked after hearing that and said:

But I should have known that!? How could you ?!”

The Spirit answered:

“As I said, I had very special circumstances. It was a miracle that I was able to carry the will and the memories of the person I embodied. He was the brother of Persolis the noble who was trying to summon Perun. The two were among the very few survivors of Dazbog that was destroyed by King Triglav and his Immortal; as you can see, it became a tale of revenge. They fostered hopes of reviving the legacy of the Bringer of Culture, Dazbog, by reforming the tribe and turning it into a kingdom of its own at the expense of the current kingdom of Crodon.”

“Raymon became acquainted with the Mad Wizard Elymas and learnt all forms of dark sorceries and necromancies as well as his white magic that was used by him to hide his true nature. Boran frowned upon the new path his brother chose and decided to abandon him. He believed that restoring the tribe must be through just and honorable ways and so he left his brother thinking that he did succumb to temptation and corruption. Eventually, he died alone and in a horrible way and in his last hour, he wished if he could have done better in life; If he did not abandon his brother and if he did not give up his hope; maybe it would have been different… He then had one final desire: to free his brother from the darkness that engulfed his heart.”

“ Thus I was born; this nameless phantom that haunted the night. I was like all my siblings; a mindless being of the night created from the pain and the blood of those who died in the most miserable ways. The dying wishes of Boran became my very essence and I used them to exist until now. Phantoms don’t last for long but I was able to do all thanks to Boran’s heart.”

Melvim was lowering his head while the Huntress was speechless.

“I expect the real Boran to be so glad right now. Not only we freed him from his terrible curse but we put his sense back into his mind in the last moments of his life. If you did not notice, I never expected Death Brand to be able to weaken the Thunderer that much. It was without a doubt a weapon capable of harming the Immortals but I’m not the true master of the blade and so its potential was not revealed at all. It was Persolis who weakened the Thunderer from within and because of that he fell. Perun was wondering for the whole time why he was falling apart with every passing second and it was too late for him to realize that the “fate” he consumed was the one who destroyed his own.” Explained Melvim.

“Unbelievable.” Said the Huntress while being thundertruck.

“I wanted to thank you, kind huntress. You might not look like it but you have a heart of gold. Preserve it and keep living until the last breath. Make sure that your death won’t go in vain and that it will be so meaningful. Do whatever must be done and fulfill what you believe in. Give it all of what you got. Die for it.” Said Boran’s phantom.

“Yes, I will do.” Answered the Huntress.

“Now, back to you, Mr Immortal, I hope that you succeed in your journey. Without a doubt, you’re going to save the kingdom. Even though I’m no soul, I will be praying that you reach the end of your journey, fulfilled.” Added the ghost.

“Thank you, honorable ghost. It has been an honor fighting by your side.” Said Melvim.

“Perhaps it’s the time for me to leave. I must say that it has been fun. I never expected it to end in a cool way. I… I thought there were never happy endings to begin with but the two of you proved me wrong hehehehe. Ahh…my energy is fading… I have one last wish; don’t forget Boran and his brother no matter what. Please hold their memories within your heart… I beg of you, honorable souls!” the ghost was sobbing as he faded into inexistence.

It disappeared. No reaction was coming from the Immortal or the Huntress at first but then… the woman kneeled to the ground and one tear appeared from her left eye.

“Is this what they call sadness?” She said.

The Huntress was trying to suppress her tears but she failed to do. So she cried at her utmost.

After a moment, the Huntress was seen lying down at a tree gazing at the clear blue sky.

“Winter is over.” Said Melvim as he approached the Huntress.

“Why are you still here? Do you still have business with me?” She said.

“Yes, maybe. What are you going to do from now on? You saw by yourself the fallacy of the legend about the book of the dead and every other necromantic book out there.” Asked Melvim.

“ I have nothing in mind really.” Said the Huntress.

“Ah before I tell you about an offer, may I have my pawn’s head back?” Said Melvim.

“Your pawn’s what?! What are you talking about?” Said the Huntress with mockery.

“You ripped off his head two days ago because you thought he was an Undead while he was just a pawn of a failure like myself.” Said Melvim.

“Don’t tell me… it’s that young blacksmith?! But what if I return the skull; he must be dead already.” She said.

“Not yet. If we waste any more time, that might be the case. Just give the skull already.” He said.

“And what if I don’t, geez, the boy will die and I will have to search for another pawn after the great time I spent with him.” Said Melvim.

“So you want me to help complete your own agenda. Aren’t you a bit selfish? You warned us about the threat of the Immortals and how they want to destroy humanity and yet who knows what plan you have.” Said the rogue coldly.

“It’s all for the sake of Mankind.” Said Melvim.

“But you’re using an innocent human. Isn’t it too much?” She said.

“I know. But I had no other choice. I barely found a new candidate after fifty years and I don’t want to waste one more set of fifty years searching again.” Melvim’s speech became more frustrated.

“I won’t give it. It’s a fine material to make a new weapon for my needs, unless you have the money for it.” She said.

“Then how about a duel?” He said.

The Huntress stood up as she was surprised by his proposition.

“I never thought you were brave enough to propose that. Fine then, the one who gets disarmed loses. Magic or Mystery is prohibited.”

“It’s a deal.”

The Huntress was confident from winning because of the revelations she got. She was blessed by the power of a benevolent Immortal, the Witch. She was able to make a choice and so to decide her fate on her own.

Melvim was calm however wielding his Death Brand. “She’s absolutely a weapon master. Her poise and her grace are almost without a match. It’s of course because of the one who told her how to fight in the first place…” Thought the Immortal.

The duel ended in one strike. The Knight was capable of winning with just one move that seemed so familiar to her. It consisted of deflecting her weapon and countering simultaneously. In fact, It was a prof of swordsmanship.

“You…” She muttered, “how do you know that move?”

“What did bother you about losing to such one technique?” He answered.

“Did you know someone by the name of Scirvir?” She asked.

The Immortal was silent for a moment but then replied:

“I knew you were going to bring up that name.” Answered the knight.

Then you know him!” She shouted.

“Yes. He was after all my previous pawn.” He said.

The Huntress became suddenly mad and thrusted the Immortal using her glaive with a blinding speed.

“I see now… I see why I did suffer back then… it was because of you.” Uttered the Huntress angrily.

“Guhh… remember that this is not my real body. If you’re going to finish me off for real, you have to find my own tomb. But aside from that, it was Scirvir who accepted to be my pawn. He was truly the kind teacher you knew. And because of him, I knew a lot about you and I discovered that you were chosen by the Witch. So forgive me.” Apologized Melvim.

The woman released him from her grip and summoned her magical bag that she used to stock her “treasures”. She took out the skull of Zoran and threw it at the knight.

“Take it and be gone from my sight.” She said.

“Thank You. Now Zoran can truly resume his true journey. I still have one last request.” He said kindly.

“You still have the stomach to annoy me, coward prince?” She replied.

“Will you be the teacher of Zoran? No matter how I try to approach him, he refuses my assistance. He’s unaware of his new duty toward himself and toward the world. Would you be his guide?” Asked the prince.

And why would I accept your request?!” Yelled the Huntress nervously.

“You are not going to do it not for my own sake but for the sake of the world. Zoran is supposed to be the Ultimate Hero that will restore the legacy of the three and repel the ancient evil that doomed my kingdom long ago. There’s only one fate missing, the Sun Hero Dazbog. For now, we acquired the fate of the Thunderer with your help and long ago we obtained that of Svarog the Forge Hero. As it appears to you, the Fate of the Witch is intertwined with that of the Ultimate Hero.” Answered Melvim.

So you’re saying that I must help you because it is a part of my fate! Quit this blasphemy! I did not choose to do that and I’m the only one who has to decide on her own what to do with her own destiny!” Yelled the Huntress.

“You surely have a golden heart, Frida. I’m sure it will never allow you to abandon this world.” Replied the headless knight.

The End.

Thank you for everyone who gave this story a chance. I hope you have enjoyed it! 

 

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