Chapter 24:

True Love

Full Moon! Through the Rings of Love

Zumi went ahead and did her thing, translating the statue for us all.

"Alright everyone, this challenge is…sit adjacent to your lover on a seesaw, and stabilize your relationships. I have no idea what that means, so good luck…"

The challenge was to stabilize the relationship? I think it wanted us to pretty much iron out all the details we didn't before. That sounded right.

But a seesaw? What were we, ten year olds?

Luna had a weird time sitting down on it because of her dress, but she managed to do it in a dignified way. It was cute that her poofy skirt looked like some sort of umbrella while she sat.

"Luna, how do you feel about this?" I questioned.

"It's not comfortable, but so be it."

"Ooh…uh-oh" Zumi made a really uncomfortable groan. "Well, now that you're all sitting…"

"What?" I didn't like her tone.

"You can't actually get off of it until your team finishes the challenge…"

I was a little mad that she left that detail out, but apparently it didn't say anything about it until we all sat. Mond was pretty pissed, but that part was funny.

Lucky for us, team Mond was a good distance away, so we didn't have to worry about her loud cursing too much.

"Oh well…" I sighed. "You want to get us started, Luna?"

She gave me a nod. "I have an idea how we may proceed." She cleared her throat. "You are very special to me. Without you, I can't say my life is complete. I think this is…true love?"

Her side of the seesaw shot upwards. I hit the ground with thud. Hardly what I'd call "stabilizing."


"Oh dear!"

I think I get it now. If one of us makes a powerful statement about the relationship, our side will either go up or down.

The goal wasn't just to keep ourselves high up, but to keep balanced. So if she made a statement like that, I had to match it.

"I agree. I actually think that in the time we've spent together, you and I have made amazing progress. I've never felt love before, so I hope this is what it feels like to start loving someone."

Now I was shooting up, but it stopped when my height overtook Luna’s by a little.

"You're higher than me." She commented.

"Sorry. Matching your previous statement isn't easy."

"Match this then," She smiled. "You have pretty eyes."

Her side went up slightly, but not enough to get higher then me.

Maybe if I said something mean, I'd go down a little?

"Er…you don't have pretty eyes?" I lied.

I fell all the way down again. That was a horrible idea.

"What was that now?" She gave me a mean look.

"That was a dumb idea." I started to break out into a cold sweat. Why did I even try that? "Actually, truth be told, your eyes are extremely beautiful. I love how they glow silver."

Now I raised up a little off the ground.

How did we make this thing actually level out? This was going to be more of a challenge then I thought.

"Get my royal bum off the ground, idiot!" Mond shouted.

"I would love nothing more then to pick you up and never let you touch the ground again, Lovey♡" Portal Master said.

"Uhck! You pig of a man!"

If it wasn’t obvious, those two freaks were over on their side of the challenge fighting. Portal Master was sky high, and it looked like his side was actually extending higher in the air, more then Luna’s and mine, as if the seesaw was elongated.

Mond was practically digging into the ground, that's how much her side was down and far out.

"I'm glad we're not them." I said.

"I agree."

We tuned out their fighting and got back to talking.

Maybe it was time to do some reviewing of the previous rings. Let's see…attraction was first.

"Luna, you said before you weren’t really attracted to me, did that change at all?" I asked.

"I told you, it isn't really important that you are attractive to me. But truly, the more I'm around you, the more it seems like my eyes fixate on you."

We were leveling out a little, and our ends of the seesaw were shrinking in on eachother. So it seemed like these seesaws were shrinking or growing based on how close of a couple we were.

"Now I have a question," Luna started. "We fought in the arena about you not taking my power during the fight. Why did you deny me?"

She was referring to when we fought the chimera, and I didn't want to weaken her anymore than needed. I made her pass out before by using too much of her power all at once.

"I couldn't bear to watch you get sick from me overusing your power." I replied.

My side was going upwards.

She took a deep breath. "In moments like that, you have to trust in me. I forced my power on you because we needed it at that moment. I'm not so fragile that I'd break easily."

But, to me she was precious. One crack would cause her whole self to crumble…or, maybe that's my imagination.

Luna is sensitive, but not weak. She’s proven that she's strong enough to take on these challenges, and many others on her own. She also didn't cause herself to pass out in that battle, so maybe she knew how to share her power steadily.

"You're right. I saw you as someone I didn't want to hurt in any way. That doesn't mean I won't protect you. But now I'll trust you also have our best interest in mind when it comes to sharing your power."

"This is our power, Walden. Take as much as you need. With time, we'll both be able to judge when it is overused."


Our sides were finally balanced. We just needed to clear the short distance between us.

"It was really great that you managed to find me when we first met. I'm glad you have good instincts."

Her instincts are great. She also saved those important birds based on a feeling.

"I was worried at first you wouldn't trust me, but you didn't bat an eyelash at helping to save humanity."

"It wasn't all for humanity," I said. "Losing magic doesn't mean much for a guy who couldn’t use it to begin with. Seeing you so passionate, I had to help."

"You did this…for me?" She smiled, tearing up a little.

We were finally right in front of each other.

The seesaw disappeared, then we both fell on eachother.

Luna put her hands on me, trying to get up, but she stopped when her eyes saw mine.

"Oh my!" Luna blushed, but made no attempt to get off me. She just kept staring into my eyes. "What is this feeling I have in me…?"

I felt like my stomach was twisting with butterflies while I laid on my back. I just placed my hands on her waist, feeling her slim shape in that tender moment.

We were really close. Her chest was touching mine, and her lips were just a few inches away. They looked more sparkly than usual.

A few easy breaths left her mouth, I felt the warm air pass by me. Her arms wrapped around my neck.

We both closed in, locking our lips together.

I closed my eyes, but even through my lids were fastened, the light of her skin was brighting through.

She quickly pulled away, then we both opened our eyes.

"I love you." She said with a nervous expression, desperately hoping I'd return the statement.

"I love you too."

We both smiled and kissed again.

"Nooo!!!" I heard the crude voice of Mond scream out. "This can't be happening!"

"Cheer up, Mond." The Portal Master said. "Isn't young love beautiful to watch? We'll get them on the next ring."

"If we ever get there!" Mond screeched. "You idiot! How are we supposed to make a portal there if we're stuck on this stupid seesaw?! And did you say I'm not young…?"

They literally couldn't get up until they were done. That was pretty much how this thing was going to break them and force a relationship.

This ring challenge must have been pretty scary…but I didn't care about their struggle. All I cared about was holding Luna.

"I want to stay like this for a while…" Luna said. "Being so close…It feels so…lovely."

"If my sister wasn't watching, I'd want too as well…but…"

Zumi and Charlie were both covering their eyes like what we were doing was scandalous. I think they were overreacting, but their reactions made me want to continue this at a later date.

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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