Chapter 17:


Re Mari : I'll find you even if death did us apart!

Arthur gathered everyone to explain the situation. I took that opportunity to slip away from the crowd.

“Vance.” Mother called me out, “We need to talk.”

I silently followed her outside. She kept walking towards the hill near the village.

“This is far enough.” She sat down on the grass.

“Everything all right Mother?” I sat down opposite to her. I thought she would tell me some magic secrets or techniques to win against the redhead.

“I think we are in great trouble.” Mother had a serious expression on her face.

“I thought that was obvious.” I tried to laugh it off.

“No, I’m not talking about the duel. I think this whole encounter is Fate’s doing.” Mother waved her hand and the wind started to blow. Leaves were spinning around her.

“I more or less got the idea about this whole situation. Remember the sword? You said it was supposed to be Mary’s. Well, you were right.” She started creating a green aura and I saw flashes in front of my eyes just like before.

“The original Fate was something very cruel. The beast Scylla would attack the village and destroy everything and everyone. Leaving nothing but grieving Mary behind. Then in the pinch of emotions, Mary would awaken the magic sword and fight off the Scylla. When she would be close to losing, the Crowned Empire would jump in and save her. And tame the Scylla. By doing that they would not only get Mary’s gratitude and companionship, they would even get the great beast Scylla as their own. I think this was one of the major Fate Points.” I could see all of that in front of my eyes.

Mother waved her hands and the vision stopped.

Wow! That makes so much sense now. If Mother and I weren’t here, that’s exactly how the story would go. It’s clearly in favor of the people with Fate.

“Does that mean that Redhead kid has Fate too?”

“Most likely, Fate follows extraordinary people to aid the Protagonist. And you and I just broke the Fate’s way.” Mother must have been thinking about this all this time. We sat there thinking about this new information for a while.

“Could Sakura-san be with them too?” I asked the question that had been bugging me.

“There’s a chance. But we can’t just ask them. We need to be sure.” Mother had already thought about everything.

This is really good. If I can manage to win this duel I might get to see Sakura.

“They talked about a saint in their ship, could that be her?” I asked Mother while looking at the ship near the beach. I couldn’t believe Sakura to be this close to me. 

“I’m not sure. I would need to hear about her personality, for me to figure out more precisely.” Mother had never asked me about her.

“I should tell you about her. I think it's time.” I started to reminisce about my past.

Sakura was my childhood friend, we met during middle school. Because of her kind but honest nature, many boys tried to bully her. They were just trying to get her attention.

One day I saw some kids trying to take her bag from the class. Everyone was outside. I had come to pick up some things.

I knew those kids, they were constantly bullying Sakura throughout the year.

“Hey let’s throw her bag in the river, bet she will cry.” One of the boys with a very fat chin started laughing. His two skinny friends were smiling grossly.

I was thinking about what should I do while standing outside of the class.

It is now or never. Sakura-san is a kind person. She never complained about them. I must help her. 

At that time I didn’t have any particular romantic feelings for her. Or I was just not aware of them.

“Hey, what are you guys doing to my bag?” I asked the trio. I was a bit scared but I wanted to help Sakura-san.

“Eh, is this your seat?” The fat dude growled at me. Boy, bullies sure are scary.

“Y-yes.” They started talking among themselves.

“Which seat is Tachibana-san’s seat?” One of them asked. Sakura Tachibana was her full name.

I pointed at my own seat, “That one right there.”

“Thanks a lot, wimp.” They took my bag and ran past me while pushing me on the ground.

Phew, I managed to save her bag.

I was sitting on the hallway when I saw someone running towards me.

“You, did you see anyone take my bag?” it's Sakura-san! She must have run all the way from the track here. Sakura was looking very charming with her hair tied up. She had a P.E. Jersey wrapped around her waist. Sweat was still fresh on her neck. 

“Your bag is safe.” I got up and cleaned my dusty back. Wonder how lame I'm looking right now. 

“Ah, that’s good. I really can’t lose this one.” She walked towards her seat and stopped at mine. She thought about something.

“Where’s your bag Tanaka-kun?” She was very sharp.

“Um… What bag?” I tried to be ignorant.

“Did they take your bag by mistake?” Sakura-san panicked, “I’m so sorry. I'll get it back right away.”

She ran past me.

“Wait...Ah, she is gone.” She was athletic.

I closed the classroom and went after her.

Our school had a small river behind it. You could see it from the rooftop. Those kids must be there if they wanted to throw it in the river. I planned to get back the bag once they threw it away. I wasn’t sure why would I go to this length for someone I don’t even talk to.

I have an idea. I took a detour. 

These stairs are such a pain. I saw the trio while opening the rooftop door.

“Please give it back to me, that’s not even my bag.” Sakura-san was trying to reason with them.

“You are lying. Your classmate told us everything. This is your bag.” He was waving that bag on the rooftop edge. The rooftop had a safety railing, but it was short enough to throw something over it.

“I swear, trust me.” Sakura-san was about to cry.

I stepped on the rooftop.

“Hey, ask that nerd. He is the one who told us.” That fat kid pointed at me.

“Why would you…” Sakura-san was shocked.

Crap, I didn't want her to find this out. Now she will think I'm some weirdo.

“Hehe, are you gonna cry?” 

I saw the fat kid’s face getting wrapped inside by a punch from Sakura-san. What did I just witness? It happened in an instant.

He fell to the ground. His lackeys were shocked. But they rushed towards Sakura-san. She kicked one while slapping the other. Both joined their boss lying on the ground. She spun elegantly. My heart skipped a beat.

What is this? Since when Sakura-san was this strong?

“You…How are you…” The kids were about to cry from pain.

“Who’s there?” I heard a teacher's voice from behind me.

“You said someone was bullying your classmate. Is it this girl?” the teacher pointed at Sakura-san.

Wait no! I didn’t expect things to turn this way when I went to the teacher’s office asking for help.

“You stay right there.” The teacher said while coming to the rooftop. 

I rushed to Sakura-san and grabbed her hand. She stood there. 

Come on what now. 

She looked back and snatched my bag from the ground. 

Oh, she is thoughtful.

We both started running towards the teacher.

“Hey, stop!” I’m sorry teacher.

We just pushed him aside and ran all the way to the ground floor.

We both were laughing so much.

That was how I met Sakura-san for the first time. I got out of the past. I miss you.

Mother was so immersed in my story that she was speechless.

“That is so cute!!” Mother came and hugged me.

“Well, she is my wife.” I grinned like an idiot.