Chapter 2:

A beautiful red flower

What lies beyond freedom

I went to the river the next day and found Clover sitting on a tree branch looking in the direction I came from. She was holding a long cloth with two apples in it.Bookmark here

“You run fast don't you?” She jumped down from the branch.Bookmark here

“Were you that excited to see me again?” She stared at me with a smug face.Bookmark here

“ Here I haven't eaten yet so I thought I would get you something too.” She handed me an apple and put the cloth on the ground next to the river.Bookmark here

“It wasn't that I just wanted to ask you a few questions.”Bookmark here

“Ok, then what's your question?”Bookmark here

“Why did you ask me to become yours yesterday?”Bookmark here

“Didn't I tell you? We both share the same dream of leaving paradise.”Bookmark here

“Then what do you mean by becoming yours. Yesterday I found out that you were part of the royal family?”Bookmark here

“Did you think I was talking about marriage? Though it's not completely out of the question. Even if we were married though that doesn't mean that we could leave. It would only grant us the freedom to travel to other paradises for diplomatic reasons.”Bookmark here

When she said that my face went red and she walked closer to me.Bookmark here

“I don't think it would be that hard to fall in love with someone that shared a dream with me though.”Bookmark here

“What I mean is to serve on my personal guard. I won't tell you more until you give me an answer.”Bookmark here

What she meant by marriage wasn't out of the question. At that moment I answered not knowing what would happen when I said yes.Bookmark here

“Then yes. I will become yours.Bookmark here

“I knew you being here wasn't just by chance.”Bookmark here

She walked over to a rock and picked up a beautiful flower with red petals that curved inwards and green stamens sticking out from it.Bookmark here

“Isn't this flower beautiful? I've loved it ever since I first laid my eyes on it.”Bookmark here

“I haven’t seen a flower like that growing near the stream. Does it only grow around this time?”Bookmark here

“No, actually it grows year-round. It's called a bloodshot Lilly.” She gently smelt the flower and presented it to me like she wanted me to smell it too.Bookmark here

“I've never seen a flower like this before.”Bookmark here

“Thankfully this won't be the only time you see this flower.”Bookmark here

When I smelled it something happened. I started feeling warm. Then the warmth turned into heat. My vision became blurry and everything was in a shade of red. I felt mad but the only thing I could think about was survival. Then I passed out not knowing what happened.Bookmark here

While passing out I felt something cold. My eyes opened and Clover was holding me underwater.Bookmark here

“Ash if you can hear me tap my hand.”Bookmark here

I followed her instructions and she lifted me out of the water. While I was coughing she handed me the cloth that the apples were wrapped in. When she reached out to me there was a scratch on her arm that wasn't there.Bookmark here

“Sorry that you had to do that. I think I'm allergic to that flower. Thanks for washing it off of me.”Bookmark here

“Oh that wasn't an allergic reaction and I wasn't washing you.”Bookmark here

I froze in wondering what happened and why she said that with a proud smile.Bookmark here

“Have your parents ever told you this? If you ever see our eyes bloodshot no matter what, run for help?”Bookmark here

Now that she mentioned it they tell me that all of the time but never tell me why.Bookmark here

“It's because when we get into intense situations where our heart rate increases too fast humans get adrenaline rushed into their blood but we get something different called Frieril. It makes us faster, stronger, and more agile. Though it's difficult to be agile because it puts your mind in a feral state where you can't think straight.”Bookmark here

“Then why did you put my head into the river?”Bookmark here

“It's because the only way to stop a bloodshot devil is to either put them unconscious, kill them, or drown them in water.”Bookmark here

“I don't understand why you would do something so dangerous though. What if I would have hurt you or gone into the village? I heard people whose eyes turn red can't stay in the village.”Bookmark here

“First of all, that's not true. That's only for people that can't control it. Second, there would've been no chance of you hurting me or escaping.”Bookmark here

“Then what's that scratch on your arm?”Bookmark here

“You just surprised me. I didn't think that you would be as strong as you were. That's a good thing though. It means that if that's your strongest right now you can grow god knows where from here. Not to mention it didn't take much for you to switch back, unlike other people. That will be useful later.”Bookmark here

“Still though, could you not do that? I don't want to hurt you again.”Bookmark here

“Listen ash no matter what you think as you are not ever your strongest could make me sweat. Just because of that since you're so serious about being part of my guard, doing this twice a week will be part of your training.”Bookmark here

With that, she stormed off angry. I had no idea what I did but I did know one thing. With what she knew she might be my key to leaving this place.Bookmark here

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