Fenrir gave an unsure with his eye before he made his way down the stairs to the ground floor of the Heroes’ Hideout. He was looking at a card. It was the same business card, Edana gave him.
Even then, that meeting with Edana, Fenrir had been thinking non-stop about his future. He would either become a professional singer or he would join the angels in saving the world. Never in his years, he would had expected to make such a large choice.
The wolf’s eye widened before turning to see Spot rushing over while waving at him with a big grin on his face. Fenrir returned the smile, happy to see him.
“There, you are! I got worried about you! You had been cooped up in your room all morning!” Spot said.
“Yeah, I was thinking.” Fenrir said, looking to the side.
Spot tilted his head. “About accepting Edana’s offer?”
“Yeah…” Fenrir said, holding up the card for Spot to see.
The Dalmatian raised an eyebrow as he crossed his arms. “Yeah, I don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, this would be a big change but it is a GOOD big change.”
Fenrir paused for a moment. After all of this time, Spot still didn’t knew about the full reason why Fenrir was training to be in the war. Mainly because he knew that the Dalmatian hated violence and would had be against Fenrir’s decision to join the war. But he was going to find out sooner or later and now was a great time to tell him.
“Hey, Spot, remember I said something else to do when asked to become a singer?” Fenrir asked.
“Uh-huh.” The purple-clad man nodded.
Fenrir then gave a deep breath before speaking.
“Well, that important something was joining the war.”
Spot’s eyes bugged out to the fullest as his pupils shrank to the size of peas.
“What!?” He exclaimed.
“Yes, I don’t know if there is a war would break out here but I want to help them.” Fenrir said. “After all, it IS my fault.”
“But… But…” Spot sputtered. “This is a war!”
“That I caused.” Fenrir pointed before looking down.
“But… You are just a pit-fighter! You can’t fight in a war!” Spot insisted.
“I know that. Why do you think that I had been learning KI from Wild Fox?” Fenrir asked.
Spot’s pupils shrank again. “W-What!? Then… Then, how long had you been hiding this from me!?”
Fenrir winced before looking down. “Ever since I had found out that the war had been taken to Elarthe. Where I could help.”
“B-But Fenrir… This isn’t just pit-fighters! These are demons! Powerful demons who could kill angels!” Spot pointed out.
“I know that but…” The wolf started.
“But what!?” Spot said, starting to get annoyed. “So just because the person who had thought had blocked a slash from a serial killer means you could do it too? You haven’t even used KI and yet you think you are going to use it against an army?”
Fenrir jumped at this before stepping away, shocked by Spot’s sudden outburst.
“H-Hey, Spot. It’s not like that…” Fenrir insisted “I am thinking of going to the angels and have THEM continue my training.”
“Then what?” The Dalmatian challenged. “They are still recovering! Do you really think they could help you train against a demon attack!?”
“I…” Fenrir started.
“This is absurd! Do you even remember the last time you had tried to fight a demon on your own?” Spot snapped.
Fenrir winced before looking down. “That’s… That’s…”
“Even after what had happened because of that, you STILL want to fight more!?” Spot snapped. “Do you even realized that losing the eye could had been the LEAST of your injuries!?”
“I know that but…” Fenrir started.
“But what?” Spot exclaimed. “You have your full life ahead of you! You have Remus, your only living relative! You have Misty, your girlfriend aka a girl that you had been wanted to get with ever since you first met her! And you have me! One of the two people from your homeworld! And now you want to leave us all!?”
Fenrir winced again before he started to speak. “I… I…”
By this time, Fenrir and Spot’s argument had caught the attention of one particular patron as they curiously peeked from the door leading into the main area. They couldn’t hear exactly what the two were saying but they knew that it was no good.
“And this is well before you have a chance at the big time! And you want to blow it all in a war where you would definitely be killed!?” Spot roared.
Fenrir winced. “But… But… I had ruined so many lives!”
“Fenrir, joining the war won’t do anything but lose your life! You would probably die during the very first attack!” Spot exclaimed. “But here, you have a chance to turn things around and yet you are acting exactly like Lupin!”
Fenrir’s good pupil shrank when he heard this accusation.
“Just like him, you have potential to have this great life and yet you want to throw it away!” Spot scolded.
“N-No! It isn’t like that…” Fenrir insisted.
“Perhaps. I mean yeah, your goals are far more noble than Lupin’s.” Spot said, crossing his arms. “But here is the thing: Lupin killing you and Remus will nothing but pain for everyone, including himself. Just like you. I am sorry but you are NOT going to survive the war. You will cause nothing but pain.”
Fenrir winced before he looked down. “I… I…”
Spot then gave in a deep sigh before taking Fenrir’s hand which held the card.
“Look, if you want to make it up to Priscilla and the angels, fine, but don’t do so at the expense of your life!” He pleaded. “I am sure that not even they would want that…”
“Even though one of them had tried to kill me…” Fenrir muttered.
“Even still, I am sure that it will all work out!” Spot said before giving a pleading look. “So please… Don’t go… I don’t want to see you hurt… Please, do it for us.”
Fenrir looked at Spot’s eyes for a moment. However, he then looked away.
“I… I… I can’t…” The wolf said.
Spot looked shocked when he heard this. But after a moment, he narrowed his eyes.
“Fenrir, I know that you messed up big time but you have a whole life ahead of you…” Spot said. “And yet you are so desperate to die a “hero’s” death, leaving Remus without a brother… I… I honestly have nothing to say to you…”
With that, Spot had turned tail and stormed off. Fenrir weakly held out his hand and tried to call out for him but nothing came out of his mouth. He merely watched Spot storm out into the main area.
Fenrir watched absolutely thunderstruck. He had expected Spot to help him with his life choice but instead, the blackjack dealer had actually made things worse but making him feel bad about joining the angels by saying that he would be absolutely useless and even compare him to Lupin, of all people.
On the other hand, even if he wanted to do, he just couldn’t just walk away. If he just did nothing to try to help out, he would feel like he would had been running away from his problems and not even wanting to face Priscilla and the angels.
He then slowly sank down against the wall and buried his face in his knees.
“What’s wrong with me?” He muttered. “Why is every good deed I am trying to do, blowing up in my space?”
“A miserable state you are in, I see.”
Fenrir’s good eye widened before he looked up and turned his head to see a green-haired teenaged girl staring down at him with a stoic look on her face. He was immediately struck with horror.
“Oh no… Please don’t tell me you heard everything!” Fenrir said in disbelief.
The girl looked down at him for a while, apathetic face unchanging, before she raised a hand to take some strands of her hair away from her face. Her third eye slowly opened as she did so, rolling about lazily until its gaze landed on Fenrir. The gray eye widened a fraction, and stared down at the wolf with a focused glare, almost as if it had a mind of its own.
“Most of it, I believe I have heard not,” she stated, bluntly.
At first, Fenrir was creeped out by the third one but whether the girl had heard the conversation or not was his main concern.
“Oh, thank goodness…” He said, sighing in relief. “Regardless, I am sorry you had to witness that.”
“What do you apologize for?” the girl asked. “People must always cause or witness happenings as they come and go. This, merely, is another happening.”
Fenrir blinked his good eye at this response. “E-Even still, it is not a happening that we should get other people involved…”
The girl sat down next to him on the floor, her cloak and hair providing somewhat of a cushion for her. “Unless the other wishes to be involved. Choices made, one cannot prevent.”
Fenrir paused when he heard the part about choices. He then sighed before looking away. “Tell me about it.”
The girl stared at the wolf, looking him up and down. “You are troubled.”
“You could say that…” Fenrir said, scratching the side of his head.
“For what reason?”
Fenrir paused before looking at the girl. While she doesn’t seem friendly, she doesn’t seem mean in the slightest.
“Um, okay? But I am afraid I can’t explain the whole thing in detail.” The scarred man explained.
The girl nodded. “Disclose to me only what you will, sir… hnnn…”
“Fenrir.” The wolf introduced. “And you?”
“Doreen,” she said, giving a single nod. “Proceed.”
Fenrir nodded his head with a deep breath.
“Well, something really big happened. And I mean really big… It resulted in a large group to confront it. However, said incident had involved ME and a similar incident had appeared before. But the past incident had ended up badly so I tried to do it on my own and try to keep any of my friends from getting hurt. But it turned out horribly. In fact, it turned out FIVE times worst. One of the friends I wanted to protect took the brunt of it and is seriously furious with me. That was without a doubt the worst day of my life.”
He then gave a deep sigh.
“But… Then, I had found out a way on how to make it up to my friend. However, said way is dangerous and I may be risking my life. At first, I was willing to accept the consequences but then I had given a break. A chance to be in professional singing. It was a big shot. I was going to refuse said offer. But then I spoke with it with my Dalmatian friend and as you could guess, it turned out horribly. He yelled at me that I would be killed easily and that I would be giving behind all of my friends, just to die a hero’s death. I know that his anger came more out of concern for me but his words… Still hurt me. But I can’t just leave my current situation unfinished. I may never live with myself if I do. But is it really worth possibly risking my life and accomplishing nothing…”
He then let out another sigh.
“A wise man once told me that life wasn’t easy and I sure as hell knew that lesson early on…” Fenrir said before holding his face. “But to think… I would have to go through a decision like this…”
Doreen seemed contemplative for a while. “Hm… Tell me. Which choice appeals to you more?”
“But that’s just the thing!” Fenrir said, looking towards Doreen, completely ignoring her more-than-calm response. “I feel that no matter what I am doing, I am going to hurt somebody. If I try to fix my mistake, I may get killed and hurt the very few people who ISN’T mad at me but if I sing, I don’t think I may live it down. The person I hurt… Really helped me and I did this to her… I… I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore…”
“Tell me. Which choice appeals to you more?” The girl’s expression remained stoic.
Fenrir sat at Doreen, looking absolutely stunned when the green-haired girl had said that. It was then he had realized her conviction. He then looked down.
“I… All my life I had wanted to live like a normal person. Grow up with parents. But instead I had spent most of my childhood still fighting trying to support me AND my kid brother. That is all I do to get money. Fight.” Fenrir explained. “...I never realized that I could live a life that ISN’T full of violence. And then I thought about what will happen if I got this chance of stardom BEFORE all of this happened. I would had said yes… It would be nice for a change to actually earn money without beating some guy to a pulp.”
He then sighed.
“But it doesn’t matter what I want. Because I clearly don’t deserve to choose on how I really want to do.” He muttered.
Doreen nodded. “Your want matters not in the world.” She tilted her head to the side, looking slightly thoughtful. “Then again, when do the wants of anyone matter?”
Fenrir looked at Doreen with a confused look on his face. “What kind of question is THAT?”
The girl blinked slowly, and so did her third eye. “Nobody’s desires matter in the end. Why? Because despite not being deserving of any choices, we have to right to make choices, and that is what people will continue to do. So tell me. Thinking nothing of what you deserve, but thinking only of your right to choose…” Doreen did a side glance at Fenrir, a daring glint entering all three eyes. “Which choice appeals to you most?”
Fenrir paused while still looking at Doreen. “I… Just want a normal life for once… I don’t want to leave my friends… I want to raise my brother… I want to take my relationship with my girlfriend even… I just don’t have to lose another friend…”
“Then make your choice.” It was then that Doreen chose to turn to Fenrir, locking eyes with him. “Make the choice that will take you closer to your wants.”
Fenrir paused. “It is not that I don’t WANT to… But it is really not that easy… I kinda wish I could explain it better...”
Doreen shook her head. “All choices seem difficult to make. While heading for the path you desire may be difficult, making the choice to start going there never is.” Shadows crossed her face. “I know that firsthand,” she muttered, grimly.
Fenrir nodded while returning the grim expression. “Yeah… Hey, can I ask you something?”
Doreen raised a single eyebrow.
Fenrir took this as an invitation to continue. “Why do you want to help me?”
Doreen seemed to actually think on this question. “Well…” she began hesitantly, looking as if she was trying to come up with a valid excuse, but let out a sigh. “Frankly, I am bored and would like something to do.” Her tone betrayed the fact that she had an actual reason behind her intentions, but there was no lie riding on her words.
Fenrir raised an eyebrow, catching on to Doreen but chose to ignore this. In fact, he even chuckled. “Then, you have an unique way of passing the time.”
“I hear that often.” Doreen allowed herself a very small smile. While her true eyes were staring at the wolf’s face, her third eye had rolled to focus on what was in his hands. A few seconds later, the girl gave a small jolt, before her own gaze followed suit. “What do you hold there, Fenrir?”
“Oh, this.” Fenrir said, just now remembering the card. “It is the businesscard a manager gave me. Should I accept to take up professional singing, I would call her.”
Doreen bit her lip, seeming unsure of what to say. The rest of her features remained relaxed, though. “Is this the choice that you believe would give you what you desire?”
Fenrir slowly nodded his head. “I don’t know if you were here for it but a while back, we had this talent show where I had decided to sing, to express my love for my girlfriend. I literally can’t remember when I had gotten that much of a positive reaction… That and there is something one of the waiters told me. His name is Al. You know him?”
Doreen shook her head once. “I was not present at the show, nor have I ever heard of this Al. Is there anything that I must be aware of regarding those two?” Her gaze grew wary.
“Well, at first, I had taken up singing because I wanted to impress women. Believe it or not, I was a real womanising jerk who thought I could do anything.” Fenrir explained. “But singing is the one thing I am extremely nervous about, no matter how much positive reception I had gotten from my brother and… My best friend. So when I had took part in the show and everyone loved me, I was absolutely elated.”
Doreen allow herself to smile again, with a wider grin this time. “It seems the singing has gotten you through, despite all. I do hope I may soon hear you sing myself.”
“And there is also what Al said.” Fenrir said. “If you have a dream… You shouldn’t let negative emotions ruin it.”
Doreen fell silent at that, smile slowly fading.
Fenrir noticed this. “H-Hey, are you alright?”
Doreen looked at Fenrir with scrutinizing stare. His curiosity in her was obvious, and it wasn’t just the way he was looking at her. The aura around him. . . her third eye had seen it. She let the quiet between them hang for a while, before she spoke up. “Perhaps we shall make a bargain. You make your choice, and I tell you my tale.”
Fenrir paused for a moment. He then looked down at the ground again. Even if he didn’t liked Spot’s words, they did had a bit of truth to them. He was so busy on atoning for what he had done that he didn’t thought or even cared that this was a suicide mission. Does he really need to literally get himself hurt just for Priscilla and the angels to forgive him?
Also, there was the Lupin comparison. Why? Why did Lupin had to go far to kill him and his brother? Why didn’t he just tried to live a normal life? He had his chance to be the city hero and threw it away for a pointless revenge that both brothers weren’t even involved in.
“I… I want to live.” Fenrir said.
Doreen reached over with the finger and tapped the business card he was holding. “Good decision,” she said. “I am certain your choice will be worth your wish.”
Fenrir gave a small smile. “Thank you, Doreen… I… I could had made a big mistake.”
Doreen shrugged in response. It seemed as she was saying “Don’t mention it,” but in reality, she didn’t really know how to respond. After all, who was she to talk of mistakes…?
“So… What was this about your tale?” Fenrir asked.
Doreen’s gaze turned steely. “Question me what you will.”
Fenrir paused before scratching the side of his head. “Dang… You say that but I literally don’t know where to start. Buttttt if it is not too much trouble, could you tell me more about your third eye? I mean nowadays, that type of thing is considered normal around here but still, one can’t help but be curious.”
Doreen looked up at her third eye, who only stared back down at her in reply. She turned to Fenrir again. “The third eye is a side effect of my magic. The moment I chose the path I chose to go, this eye became a part of me that I will never be rid of. Nor do I wish to. Zenon has been good company.” Her third eye did an eye smile at that. What more could it do? On the outside, they were just an eye.
Fenrir’s good eye widened at this. “Wait? Has been good company? As in your third eye is its own person?”
“You might say so. Though, they are eternally bonded to my being, so perhaps not their own.” Doreen let out a small smirk, and the eye just rolled down to her, unamused.
“Wow… To have an eye with a mind of its own… That must be some powerful magic.” Fenrir said in awe.
Doreen looked away, shadows beginning to cross her eyes as she did so. “It… is.”
Fenrir noticed this and looked concerned. “O-Oh… I’m sorry. Did I strike a nerve?”
Doreen shook her head. “Your question was innocent. I, on the other hand, deserve my suffering.”
Fenrir’s ears drooped when I heard this. “W-Why?”
The girl remained silent for what seemed like a lifetime. “I do not regret the path I chose. It has, in many ways, assisted me. What I do regret… is the first choice I made with it.”
“Your first choice?” Fenrir asked, softly.
The greenette just stared back. “…Have you ever injured anyone out of the sheer desire to do so?”
“...As in physically?” Fenrir asked. Doreen just shook her head. “Then, no… There HAD been a lot of time where I wanted to hurt people mentally…”
This time, the girl nodded. “At least you have not acted upon such a desire.” Her eyes turned to the floor. “Unlike me.”
“Really?” Fenrir asked, looking surprised. “But you don’t look like the type to let that much stuff faze you. Honestly, even if I didn’t explain in full detail, you still reacted so… calm.”
The girl just kept staring at the floor, but slowly started to look up, looked back up at the wolf, a challenging gleam shooting from her eyes. “You assume this is how I’ve always been.”
Fenrir paused, scratching his head again. “Y-Yeah… That IS kinda stupid seeing how I used to be…”
Doreen’s third eye examined Fenrir intently before blinking. “I was a fool,” Doreen scoffed at herself. “Because of the choice I made, I always will be.”
“H-Hey, come on. We all make mistakes.” Fenrir said, holding out hand. ”Though, some more than others…”
The three-eyed girl didn’t answer, but merely pointed to her face.
“Hm? What is it?” Fenrir asked.
“This,” she began, flatly, “is not the face of calm. This is the face of shame, the face that hides from seeing what I caused. This… is one of the many faces of fear.” She dipped her head a little as a dangerous glint entered into her eyes, darkening her face and making her seem all the more intimidating. “And I know fear. I. Know. Shame.”
Fenrir shrank back a bit. “I-I’m sorry…”
Doreen gave him another long look before promptly averting her gaze. “The way you withdrew, that look in your eyes…. Truly, you are a better person than I.”
“Hey, don’t say that… I mean you had just helped me, a complete stranger when I was down.” Fenrir reassured.
Doreen just looked to the side. She felt… funny. There was a strange feeling sitting at the bottom of her throat, a strange feeling she couldn’t quite figure for herself. Yet it was so familiar… Could she be…?
“Even a stranger deserves better than I,” she remarked coldly, disregarding the feeling.
“You say that but…” Fenrir said. ”Maybe… Maybe the grass does seem greener on the other side.”
“I am sorry but could you help me?” The wolf asked.
“Could you help me find my Dalmatian friend?” Fenrir asked. “I… I kinda owe him an apology.”
“Ah.” Doreen nodded. There was that feeling again.
Fenrir and Doreen had both asked around for Spot. As the former had expected, an angry Spot was not hard to miss so a lot of people had confirmed he stormed out of the Heroes’ Hideout. They wasted no time making their way over Belcazzar.
“Okay, there is an area of Spot’s favourite places to go so we should start them.” Fenrir explained. “After that, I will show you where we should split up and we should be able to find him.”
Doreen just nodded, waiting for the feeling in her throat to fade away. It couldn’t be that feeling, could it? It had been too long…
Fenrir’s good eye widened before he and Doreen to the direction of the voice. There, they saw Spot walking towards them with his hands behind his back.
“Spot…” Fenrir said, softly.
The Dalmatian looked down at Doreen. “And… Who is your new friend?”
“Doreen,” was the simple reply that came from the girl’s mouth. Her third eye just blinked in greeting.
Normally, Spot was be more than curious with the third eye but he was too concerned with pressing matters.
“Spot, there had been something that I wanted to tell you.” Fenrir explained.
The Dalmatian paused. “What is it?”
“I… I wanted to apologize for…” Fenrir said before shifting his eye at Doreen. “...Wanting to go and throw away your life.”
Spot looked away with giving a single answer.
“No, I really mean it… If it means that much to you, I will become a singer.” Fenrir reassured.
Spot looked towards Fenrir and looked surprised. “W-What? Really?”
“Yes… The reason that I thought it was a good idea is because I thought I didn’t deserve it…” Fenrir said before looking away. “But… As it turns out, what was the point if getting myself killed is really the only way?”
“Fenrir…” Spot said, softly.
“What am I trying to say is… That I am sorry.” The wolf said.
Spot paused. “Do you remember that I told you that I actually used to be in the mob?”
Fenrir blinked his good eye twice. “Y-Yes?”
“Well, because of their… shady business. They had been in a lot of fights.” Spot said before looking down. “And a lot of them… Had died. I lost a lot of friends…”
“Spot…” Fenrir said.
“I… I tried to get them to stop but they said that was what they had to do…” The blackjack dealer frowned. “...Just like you thought that you had to go.”
“I… I didn’t even realize.” Fenrir said. “I… I’m so sorry…”
Doreen watched all of this with a pensive gaze. She blinked slowly, while her third eye stayed open all the while. In that moment of her blinking, through Zenon, she saw strong flickers of color over the canines. Both were veiled with auras of gray, which she immediately noted as sadness. In the last split-second, though, a wave of black surged over Fenrir. A spike in his emotion? Of guilt? Hm. Her eyes opened up to the world once more, and she saw no auras of color flaring around the duo. Just them.
“No, I should apologize too…” Spot said.
Fenrir raised his head in confusion. “Hm? What for?”
Spot seemed surprised for this. “What do you mean, what for? I just yelled at you back there and said some horrible things because you are my best friend!”
Fenrir raised his eyebrow. “Well, you ARE right about me causing nothing but harm to my closest friends.”
Spot let out a deep sigh. “You know… The people back in the mob said that kindness may be seen as a virtue, it could easily be your biggest downfall. I never saw that… Until now.”
“H-Huh?” Fenrir asked.
“You have became a caring person, Fenrir. You appreciate everyone you are friends with.” Spot said before smiling. “And I liked that! It goes how far you had came!”
He then frowned.
“But it means you are always worrying about us. That wouldn’t be THAT big of a flaw but…” Spot said before looking down at Doreen. “...But it caused you to overworry about us getting hurt because of you and… Well…”
“Like I said, I liked your humility. But it is like it is a personal crime for one of us to get hurt on your behalf.” Spot said. “You think you don’t deserve it but you are being WAY too hard on you.”
He then looked down.
“...Which admittedly could make me a hypocrite for going off on you for doing that.” He said before raising his head. “I CHOSE to be there. We all did. We wanted to stop the pain for you. So please… Stop this “I don’t deserve it” attitude because you do deserve it.”
Fenrir paused. “Spot…”
“Besides, I had that problem when I was young and I turned out fine.” Spot said.
“Spot…” Fenrir said, softly.
The Dalmatian then ran over and hugged Fenrir, taking the wolf by surprise.
“I am just glad that you had realized that.” Spot smiled.
Fenrir paused before returning the hug. “Y-Yeah, me too…”
Doreen gave her throat a single scratch. That feeling was tearing at her now, wanting release. She would release it, in due time, but not now. Those two were having an important moment, and it wouldn’t do to ruin it. Oh, the restraint was almost a pain, but she could be patient.
Soon, the two canines broke away from the hug.
“So could you tell me more about your new friend?” Spot asked.
“Um, yeah.” Fenrir said. “There is nothing to say about because we just met but she was the one to help me decide my choice.”
“Really?” Spot asked before smiling. “Then, thank you very much!”
Doreen just gave a single nod, keeping her face stoic. The feeling at the base of her throat intensified.
Spot frowned as he raised an eyebrow. “Are you okay?”
Fenrir merely waved it off. “I know I said that we only just met but I could tell that she is mostly always like that.”
Doreen walked a bit closer to the duo, then slowly held a hand out to Spot. “Again, I am Doreen. Your name is Spot, yes?”
“That’s right!” The blackjack dealer said, energetically, taking the hand.
Doreen gave a nod.
Pssst, hey, Doreen.
This puppy might be a good influence on you. Everything about him just screams upbeat. He’ll probably light your grumpy face up for a change.
Zenon, do shut your mouth.
She wasn’t sure how long the handshake had lasted. But due to her conversation, she had been somewhat spaced out, so it had lasted longer than a normal handshake would’ve.
Spot noticed this. “Hey, are you okay?”
“Hn? Ah, yes, I am all right. I was merely… thinking.”
“So anyway, are you new here?” Spot asked. “I think I would had noticed a girl with green hair and three eyes.”
“Oy, Spot!” Fenrir scolded.
“It’s quite all right, Fenrir, I have heard worse before attaining my third eye.” She looked up Spot and nodded. “You might say we are not from around here.”
Spot blinked twice. “We?”
“I have a couple of other companions.”
Suddenly, a sharp vibration sounded from within Doreen’s cloak. The girl reached in, taking out a cell phone. On the inside, she was sighing with relief--the feeling in her throat had almost gotten unbearable. This interruption just so happened to be necessary.
She lifted the phone before her face. Kani. She pressed the “Accept” button and put the phone to her ear. “Speak.”
There was a beat of silence. Then…
“Where is Doreen and what have you done with her?”
“Do clarify, Kani.”
“You sound too happy!” She should’ve known. Of course Kani’s ears would be able to sense it, the feeling from the bottom of her neck, barely contained.
“Wait…” Fenrir said, blinking his good eye twice. “You are new here and you already have cell phones?”
Doreen took the phone a little ways away from her ear. “This was in my possession before arrival.”
Fenrir looked shocked by this. “Whoa… That is some good reception.”
“Hey, who’s that on your end?” the voice in Doreen’s phone piped up. “I wanna talk to him!”
“I wanna talk to him! Please?”
Doreen just stared at Fenrir for a while before extending the phone out to him.
“Knock yourself out, Kani.” Huh. It had been a while since she’d felt all right with using such a colloquial phrase.
Fenrir hesitantly took the phone. “Um, howdy?”
“Heeeyy!” a good-natured girl’s voice cheered. “How’s you? Has Doreen torn you into smithereens yet?”
“What? No!” Fenrir asked before giving Doreen a worried glance. “I-In fact, she helped me!”
A dramatic gasp echoed from the device. “WHAAAT? That is so not like her! Does she not care about her ‘warrior’s way’ or whatever-she-calls-it anymore? Is she finally losing her marbles? Do we need to take her to a doctor or something?”
Doreen allowed herself to reach a hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose. How exactly had she managed to deal with this girl for so long?
“Um… No. She seems well to me.” Fenrir said before turning to Doreen. ”Dang… Is it really THAT rare for this girl to help somebody? I should consider myself lucky.”
“Oh, she is? Well, thank sunrise! I guess she’s finally warming up to people! Or maybe she isn’t, and she’s just in one of her moods. I don’t know, she’s a mystery.” The voice got a little louder. “Keep an eye on her while she’s around you, will ya? Tell her we’re around--around, um--Hey, Ishan! Where we goin’ again?”
A rather hushed voice replied, loud enough that it could be heard, but too quiet for Fenrir to figure out what exactly was being said.
“Ah, yeah! We’re going to the NEONZ club!” Kani almost screamed.
“Ah, okay. I will tell her.” Fenrir reassured.
“Yaaayy! Thankies! Thanks a lot! Tell her to get there by… oh, come on, what does she call it… um, ‘eventide’. Tell her to get here by then. She’ll understand.”
“Um, if you say so. It was nice talking to you… Kani, was it?” Fenrir answered.
“One and only! Well, see ya!”
A small beep from the device indicated the call was over.
Fenrir blinked twice. He let out a chuckle before handing the phone back to Doreen. “Wow. Your friend actually makes SPOT seems calm.”
“She makes everyone seem calm,” was the girl’s only reply as she tucked her possession back into her cloak.
Fenrir again just chuckled. “Anyway, she said that she and the others will be at the NEONZ club.”
Spot’s eyes lit up when he heard this. “The NEONZ club? I heard of that place but never been there.”
Doreen just let out a small “hmph” as she scratched at her throat again. She’d have to deal with this.
Fenrir and Spot both noticed this.
“What? You don’t like the place?” Fenrir asked.
“Nay, that is not so. It is impossible for me to dislike a place I have not seen with my own eyes.” The greenette let out a small cough, in an attempt to stifle the feeling. “Until when must I get there by?”
Fenrir frowned before walking over. “Are you alright? Maybe we could help.”
Doreen shook her head. “I will be fine. When must I get there by?”
Fenrir then realized what Kani said. “Um, I think it was… Eventide, I think?”
A knowing look entered the eye of the Giunician. “I see. We still have some time… what shall we do in the meanwhile?”
Fenrir shifted his eye from left to right. He then paused. “Could you tell us a bit more about yourself? I mean you surely you have some stories to tell about your friends?”
Doreen gave a small nod and began to walk. “I suppose. What have either of you to ask me?”
“Well, how many of you they are?” Spot asked.
“I believe there are currently four Giunicians in Elarthe, myself included.”
“Giuncians?” Spot asked, tilting his head.
Another nod from the girl came in response. “Some worlds have names, and ours is one of them: Giunix is our world, and Giunicians are its people.”
“Really? Our world doesn’t have its own special name.” Fenrir pointed out.
“Is dimensional travel a natural occurrence in your world?”
“Um, no.” Spot said before brightening up. “Wait, that is in YOUR world!”
“Yes. It is like traveling abroad, across nations. Only… it is between different worlds. Those who are aware of the existence of other dimensions tend to name their homes in order to avoid complications. Ours is one of them.”
“Wow… That is amazing!” Spot said with sparkling eyes. “To be able to travel to other worlds!”
“It is only enjoyable if you travel by your will. My Allies and I…” Doreen rubbed her head a little. “We were fleeing. We are not entirely sure how we came here, and how we got into a world we didn’t know of is a mystery.”
“Really?” Fenrir said with his ears drooping. “I am sorry to hear that.”
“We were like that too.” Spot nodded.
“…Tch.” The girl allowed herself a small smirk. “At least we can relate.”
The feeling in her throat was killing her now. She was going to have to let this out somewhere, and fast.
“I am feeling rather famished. May we stop by somewhere for some refreshments?”
Spot’s eyes lit up. “Ooh, yeah! I know this great place that is just here! Come on! Let’s go!”
With that, he ran off.
“Hey, slow down!” Fenrir yelled, cupping his hands to his mouth. He then looked down at Doreen. “Sorry about him. He is like a little kid in the body of an adult.”
“I am used to this behavior,” was Doreen’s reply as she picked up her pace a little.
“Hey, Doreen, you said that you really wanted to hear my singing right?” Fenrir asked as he and Doreen followed him.
Doreen just turned back a little and let a tiny smile grace her lips.
Fenrir returned the smile. “In that case, I don’t know how my first gig would be but if it is alright, I would like to invite you and your friends.”
“We’d like that,” she replied, smiling wider. “We’d like that a lot.”
“Glad to hear it.” Fenrir said, happily. “I don’t want to sound arrogant but I promise that you will not be disappointed.”
Doreen couldn’t take it anymore. Her throat was going to tear apart.
It had been so long.
When had she last done this?
The feeling had been let loose. It wouldn’t stop.
“Hahaaah! Oh, Fenrir! Hah!”
She kept on laughing. It had been such a long while.
As Doreen walked on alongside Fenrir, still chuckling, a strong wind blew through the street, ruffling through the long sleeves of Doreen’s cloak. The cloth drew back a little, revealing little bits of the intricate markings coiled around her arms.
The markings were purple. She was in joy.