My Demon Queen
Another day, a different sky. Honestly, I wonder how other artists draw the skies. If it were me, I'd just paint the canvas blue, use a cloud brush and call it a day. The more complicated ones.. I have no idea how people even draw that. But they do.. like.. how?!
Oh, commission requests are up for boots. No client yet..
It was break time, 30 minute break. Liliath and I went separate ways. She was going to the cafeteria to try out that idea I told her about yesterday.
Like seriously, fuck, the fact that she almost bought into the student council prez's invitation was because of tea. Luckily Elyja didn't notice, she wasn't as sharp as Liliath. If she knew about this weak point of her's, I'm pretty sure Liliath would've been tricked by her.
That said.. Liliath feels like those gluttons in light novels or mangas where the protagonist's followers surround him mainly for food. In Liliath's case, it was tea.
She's truly a tea fanatic. I honestly have no clue how I should put into words this complicated feeling I'm feeling inside my heart right now. I feel like it would be possible for someone to successfully propose to her using tea bags instead of silver rings.
Damn. It's so funny.
While thinking that, I was idling around the school garden, the stone paths that encircled the large pond in the middle. Rectangular hedges that exceeded my height were grown here and there-- red flowers to accent the green space.
Students walking around the place, food in hand, talking to each other, enjoying the scenery.
Me? I was sitting on a wooden bench, looking at a group of students feeding the fish food. The cafeteria did sell fish food from what I've heard. And for a second there, I thought the school was absolutely nuts for allowing the worker to sell such a thing for consumption-- until I learned of the real purpose behind the product.
"Hello, Noel. You're alone this time around? Where's Liliath?" Prune, who came from the direction of the cafeteria using the garden path, noticed my laid back self.
"Liliath is together with Saria, probably at the cafeteria now."
"It's odd to see you two apart," Prune sat down beside me, taking a bite out of the small burger she bought.
"Yeah, it's been like this ever since the system update," I sighed. True, since Liliath and i dont need to pay so much attention to completing those stupid tasks, we've been able to go along doing out own stuff. In fact, it was the quests that brought us close together in the first place.
Without it, it's like we're drifting apart?
"Status window open."
"How's the progress?"
"4 more days.."
Chibi Liliath was talking to chibi Saria, a speech bubble with the image of tea floating above her head. How cute.. it seems it's possible to tell what each other is doing through the update window-- how convenient..I wonder if Liliath realized this function. Most probably yes.
"I want to eat raw meat.. do you think that sounds weird?" Prune let out a self-deprecating laugh.
"Not really.. Liliath almost joined the student council because she wanted to drink tea."
"Liliath again, you two are so close," Prune heaved a sigh.
Prune didn't reply and took another bite out of her burger, her ears and tail were drooping now, unlike before.
Seriously.. a love triangle? I hope not.. please no..
"Well, I'll take a walk around the place," I stood up and stretched, "Are you going back to class?"
"Where are you going then?"
"I don't know.. exploring the school I guess. I haven't had the chance to do that until now."
"Ah, me too."
Prune nodded, her tail wagged a full course. Jeez.. could I be overthinking?
She finished her burger and dropped the packaging into the trash bin beside the bench before accompanying me.
There wasn't really much of a landmark location to begin with. It's more like exploring routes we've never used before. We went to the auditorium-- students playing badminton and other's running about. Then to the open field-- a group of girls actually having a picnic.
After which I went to check out the medical facility-- reminded me of Miss Yeo. I wonder if she and Principal Rachel are doing alright?
The medical facility was off-limits for the most part, so we only went around the building.
Another thing to note is the number of soldiers stationed around the place.
Yes, soldiers. You heard me right.
I suppose it's for security purposes. I was in a school of TALENTS after all. Nobody knows what could happen if a fight breaks out between two students-- especially if they are in possession of a 'troublesome' sombat TALENT.
In the end, Prune and I ended up at the cafeteria where I saw Liliath enjoying an actual cup of tea.
She waved at me, I waved back.
"I can't believe she noticed," Prune, too, waved at her.
"Well, that's just how it is."
"By the way, have you picked a club to join?"
"Ah, good suggestion, how about we head over to the clubroom block?"
"I'll take the answer as not yet.."
"How about you?"
"I thought of trying baking."
"Baking club-- there's seriously such a club? Wow, this school has everything."
"Are you going to join the art club?"
"I don't know. I'm not into fine arts.. besides.."
Actually, who the hell cares anyways, I need to live out my life as a highschool student right? I've actually wanted to have an art friend.
"Maybe I should check it out."
Prune and I left for the clubrooms.
To my surprise, it was fairly crowded. And to my surprise again, Prune wasn't attracting a bunch of attention?
"Did Liliath cast a barrier around you?" is what i suspected.
"Yup. She fine tuned it so I'd feel like a random passerby to the other students. Of course, if they look closer, they would notice the difference," Prune's wolf ear moved up and down.
"She's a wizard.. darn, magic is convenient."
"Truly is-- hm?" Prune sniffed the air. "Ah, there's someone baking something."
"The baking club is.. where?"
"It's on the second floor, I think I'll go check it out."
"Might as well take a look.."I muttered, following Prune.
Going up one flight of stairs, we arrived at the baking club. Sure enough, I could smell the butter and sugar. Not that I really liked confectionaries-- Liliath's opinion might differ.
"Ah, Prune-- eh, nice to meet you, would you like to try some of our cookies," a guy wearing a pink apron stood close to the entrance, in his hands a tray of cookies. No, rather.. the tray was floating, and his hands were tucked inside his pocket. Cool TALENT.
Prune nudged me in the shoulders.
"Ah, yeah.. thanks.."
I ate the cookie-- a little confused with the situation.
"How is it? Prune? Take one too," the guy insisted, an individual cookie conveniently flew-- or levitated in front of Prune.
"Thank you," Prune took it without reserve and munched on it.
To be honest, these cookies were really good. Like quite literally, REALLY GOOD. I don't know how best to describe the taste but-- it's like how ads say it tastes like grandma's cookies-- not that the baker is a female old lady or something..
"Thanks, it tastes amazing," I complimented.
"Much appreciated, are you here to join the baking club?"
"Unfortunately no.. but thanks."
"Goerge, what are you doing here? It's recess right?"
"Nah, just here to take out the cookies in the oven since this morning. There are the other's with me too, wanna come and take a look at the other baked goods?"
Since this morning-- wait, so he literally left the oven running through class? Wait, no, rather, Prune knows George huh? Well.. not that I'm fussing but I'm surprised she's attached to this club already. Looks like the members are pretty active.
"Sorry, Noel, i'll be joining them here, anyways, the art club should be right over there," Prune pointes at the far corner of the alley. A number of painted canvases could be seen leaning against the wall.
"It's alright, thanks, then I'll be off. And again, thanks for the cookies Goerge."
"No problem, be sure to support these bad boys in the future alright?"
Bad boys-- ah, grandma's cookies. Right. Bad boys…
Somehow those two names don't mesh. Em' bad boys are grandmother's cookies.. sounds iffy.
Parting with Prune, I went to the far corner where the art club was located-- of course, I properly inspected the fine art paintings outside first.
The first thing that comes to mind is-- incredible anatomy. The model is practically nude-- something I don't get about fine arts. I know anatomy is important and all but.. why is drawing nude bodies a thing? I'm pretty sure 'that' part should have more hair, realistically speaking.
Well, whatever it is.. i turned my head to look inside the art club--
Empty… silent… a multitude of eerie paintings were arranged on the easels. HAlf-soen portraits of demon faces-- impressionistic forest with stretchy alien heads. And in the far corner of the room I think it was a copy of Picasso's cockerel. One that shows the ferocity and stupidity of a cock-- quite literally.
I have two choices, advance or retreat.
I chose the former. And thus, I stepped foot inside this somewhat somnolent and creepy place.
The room was larger than I thought-- there weren't many tables, a few of them laid to the side with oil paints and dried up palates.
The room smells like acrylic and watercolour paints. Kinda nostalgic, I remember how I tried tasting paint in the past-- I learnt one of my greatest life lessons from that incident.
I walked over to the tabel close to the window, looking down at the open field, the running track and basketball court.
"Ah, it's you!"
A voice shook my soul, shivers went down my spine.
I turned around slowly, like a broken machine.
It was a girl. Gloss balck hair--obviously-- that was tied to the side with braided ornaments, large gold rimmed glasses that sat between her nose. She looked like the studious kind of person, a sketchbook wrapped around her arms.
It was the emcee from last time. The one that silenced the auditorium.
Was it just me or was every cell in my body screaming at me to run away? This was a school-- not a battlefield-- then why do I sense this fear?
"I heard it from the President, it seems you have resistance against my TALENT, quite a rare specimen," she pushed up her glasses.
What the hell. I should escape shouldn't I?
"I'm sorry for coming in so abruptly.."
"No worries, it's rare to see someone just walk in like that. You're an artist-- correct?"
Her voice was like a silver bell-- literally piercing my soul. Ugh.. keep your head together Noel..
"Is your TALENT a passive thing? Cuz it's driving me nuts.. seriously.. stop it please."
"I'm sorry. Well.. the president told me to test it out. One things for sure, you have totally fallen for Liliath, it's a fact."
Her voice didn't sound like a siren call anymore but the contents of it were shocking.
"Ah, I'm saying some unnecessary stuff. Basically, people who already have a life partner could be said to have resistance towards my TALENT-- isn't it?"
"Is that how it works?" I inched closer to the exit--
"Nevermind that, do you want to join the art club?" her eyes were sparkling.
Ah fuck-- not this again.. and I'm so close to her too.. my heart is literally about to jump out of my chest. Fuck. She's a siren alright…
"Status window open."
I whispered inadvertently, the chibi Liliath waving a wooden plate that had the words 'WARNING' on it.. cute.
Yeah. Good reminder. Only Liliath, no one else.
Taking a deep breath, having Liliath's cuteness overpower her serenade, i replied.
"I'll think about it.."
"Hm.. You are one tough nut to crack."
"Nevermind, please consider, us art members will be delighted to have an additional member," with an angelic smile, she spoke.
"Ugh.. stop it.."
I know I was being rude by covering both my ears with my palm but seriously.. I can't take it anymore..
Stepping outside, I turned around to look at the clubroom-- then at her. Yup, serenade sucks, she looks more beautiful now. Heck, I feel like she's rejected love letters from a 3-digit number of boys with the way she fools around.
"Right, Your name.."
"Rishell huh, well.. see you around.."
Not. That was a lie. I should stop getting involved with her…no.. why did I ask for her name in the first place?
I promptly walked away..
"Damn.. I wonder if Liliath has anti-charm magic.. now i cant get her out of my head.. fuck. I cursed in my heart.