Dantega:Volume 3 Chapter 7
Chapter 26: Trust
"Wow I can actually do it!" shouted Trojia in excitement.
She had just pointed out her hand and was able to move a rock and throw it more than fifteen feet without even touching it. This was a form of psychokinesis that has been bestowed on her by the power of Messor.
Messor has given the entire group some sort of ability in order for them to defend themselves.
"Very good, that's all I can do for you. The growth of this new ability of yours will be entirely up to your own efforts now." Messor said with a pleasant smile.
Her help is duly appreciated and even Napoleon is quite excited; this has been a very easy transition into strength for them. All Messor had to do was put her index finger on their foreheads and they were instantly able to do inhuman things. What she did was open up a certain portion of their brains that was once inaccessible on Earth. Here in Purgatory, the human body is able to break its natural limits; the laws of physics made those limits physically and mentally inaccessible in their past lives.
Everyone has some kind of ability stored in their brains, it's just a matter of being able to realize it or not. In the case of Strauphius and Aria, once they became 'aware' they immediately obtained such powers, and after honing it for years they became the people they are now. It's similar to how one would learn how to read starting with basic letters in there native tongue, pronunciation of those letters combined into once complicated words eventually becomes natural, and is easily understood within the mind in the split seconds it takes to gloss over the letters. It all starts at a beginning point, and then grows from there depending on the hard work or natural ability of the person deciphering their native alphabet and putting it into spoken word.
"Did you see me Ubica!? Did you see!?"
Ubica smiles and says, "Of course, good job Trojia!"
Upon seeing how well Trojia is doing with her newfound ability, Tsubiri puffs and holds her hands out. From her fingertips comes the blue crackling light of electricity, and it grows to the extent that everyone around her can feel the electrical charge in their chests.
The torrent of electricity swirling around her is enough to shift Ubica’s attention, looking at him with a straight smile of over exuberance she says, "I would like some praise too ya know?"
“Whoah Tsubiri! You’re amazing!"
“Hehe I am aren’t I?”
Trojia, who was just so proud of herself for what she was able to do, folds her arms and furrows her brow when she says, “All of you soldiers have gotten the hang of this so fast, it shouldn’t be a surprise you’re able to put on display like that.”
“Oohoo do a see a princess envious of a lowly bodyguard like me?” Tsubiri teases.
With a flushed face, Trojia lifts her nose and turns away from her.
Feeling triumphant, Tsubiri seeks more praise and tries to show off, but her electrical field suddenly grows so large it forces the others to back away.
“Okay we get it already, You can stop now!” Trojia shouts as her hair begins to stand up on her head.
“Umm.” Tsubiri, with the bashful embarrassment of a child who had just spilt milk on the carpet replies, “I don’t know how to stop.”
“Are you kidding??”
With the forcefield around her growing exponentially, it forces everyone near her to run off to avoid being electrocuted.
Feeling abandoned, Tsubiri shouts, “I’d appreciate some help!”
Ubica, not knowing what he can do to help her, attempts to get close and calm her down. “It’s okay Tsubiri, take some deep breaths and try to relax.”
Following his advice, she is disheartened to find that every breath she takes, the blue electricity just pulsates along with it.
“I have an idea.” Ubica says, holding his hand out to her. “I think all of this energy needs to be released towards something conductible. Focus on my hand and send it my way.”
“Eh? Isn’t that dangerous?” Tsubri protests.
“It’ll be fine, trust me.”
The energy she’s exuding is beginning to be unbearable, so she gives in to his suggestion and points her hand out to him; in a flash, the electricity surrounding her screams to the front of her palm in a loud crackle and forms into an imposing ball of bright blue light.
It shoots forward in a blinding beam and hits Ubica’s hand with such force it slides him back under his feet. Feeling the power of this electricity and not wanting to take the full brunt of it, Ubica swings his arm behind him and sends the beam dancing across the sky and out into the distance until it finds something conductible to land into.
A few hundred yards away there is a pond, and upon reaching the area of sky above the water, the electric beam takes a sharp turn downwards and hits the pond so hard that it sends a plum of whitewash and earth hundreds of feet into the sky in a great explosion.
As the trail of vapor falls back to the ground, remnants of the blue electrical shock can be seen dancing within the cloud created.
“Wow, that was a lot stronger than I thought it’d be!” Ubica said while watching remnants of the blast fade.
He then rushes to Tsubiri to see if she’s okay, and upon seeing that she isn’t even breathing hard, he pats her on the shoulder and says, “You really are amazing, Tsubiri!”
Feeling guilty for causing him and the others such trouble, she doesn’t take his compliment with as much gratitude as she normally would. “T-Thanks.”
“Cheer up,” Ubica said with a smile, “With practice you'll be able to control it in no time.”
Trojia comes walking up to them with her arms still folded in a combative manner when she says, “Even I have to admit, that was very impressive.”
“I have a lot of work to do to catch up.” Trojia said, releasing her arms to her side and sighing in the process. “Don’t think you’ll be ahead of me forever!”
"This is incredible..." Niomyo said after witnessing Tsubiri’s power, she then looks down to her own hands and says, “I never would have imagined we’d have a strength like this hidden inside us.”
Napoleon readily agrees and says, "Yeah, it will definitely help us get out of here."
Niomyo looks over at Ubica, who is sharing a happy conversation with Trojia and Tsubiri and says, "Now that we have these abilities... is it really necessary that we keep Ubica around?"
Napoleon's eyebrow twitches. "What do you mean?"
"I mean we don't have to rely on him anymore. Don't you think that it's more dangerous with him than it would be without him?"
He folds his arms and ponders for a moment, he takes a deep breath and replies, "I can see why you would think that way... but he is far stronger than all of us combined at the moment, and besides, if he left, the unity of the group would be completely shattered."
Niomyo frowns and raises her voice, "Our unity doesn't revolve around the feelings of the two princesses and that guard! Once they realize how dangerous he is they will come around eventually."
Napoleon stays calm and states, "I disagree, no matter how dangerous he may be... he is still my comrade, and I never abandon my comrades."
After saying that, he coldly turns to walk toward the group and leaves her behind. Not someone who shows much emotion, Napoleon's agitation at her suggestion was felt on her forehead like crisp breeze had just blown in from the arctic.
Niomyo clicks her tongue and says to herself, "Since when did a man like you become so soft? I will never allow an existence like him to become close to the Princess."
"Hey, you look kind of annoyed." said Daey.
She is addressing Messor, who has a troubled look on her face while looking at Ubica and the two girls sharing playful laughter together.
"Yeah, was doing this for us a strain on you?"
Messor looks to her and gently smiles, "Not at all, I'm happy to help."
“I’m glad to hear that, you know, it was really hard being so helpless this entire time. Relying on others to protect you in a situation like this was difficult to handle.”
“I can only imagine.” Messor replied.
Her sympathetic response prompted a grateful smile from the young princess.
“By doing this, you’ve given us a lot of hope. I feel like even I can contribute to our journey back home now.”
“Hope is a great feeling to have… I can relate to your struggle, there was once a time where I was alone and hopeless. I didn’t have the power to escape the situation I was in by myself.” Looking strained, Messor keeps her glare locked on the three when she says, “I’ve vowed to never let myself feel that way again.”
Daey smiles and takes Messor’s hands into her own, “You’re not alone anymore. We’re not much, but I think you can rely on us to be there for you!”
Messor can’t help but puff a little air out of her nose before shifting her gaze to the princess's mauve eyes. “You’re much kinder than I thought you’d be.”
“Eh? W-Well kindness is easily reciprocated wouldn’t you say?”
“I don’t think what I did for you is kind so much as it was necessary.”
“What do you mean?”
Messor gently squeezes Daey’s hand and looks back towards Ubica before saying, “Relying on you and the others... this has brought me a step closer to no longer being alone.”
The group is now in yet another town, and thanks to the money made from the last town they were in, they have plenty of cash to spend on a nice hotel; with the sun setting they make their way to a large multi story accommodation. This town is very similar to the last, be it that there are statues of pagan gods line the city streets here as well. But without the festivities of their last stay, this town lacks energy and almost feels depressing in comparison, people are just strolling about finishing off their daily routines.
They reach a hotel and are ready to check in when Messor grabs Ubica's sleeve and begins dragging him away.
"I'm sorry, but would you all mind if I borrow Ubica for a little?"
She doesn't give them a chance to answer when she takes off running with him in tow.
"Um... where are we going?" Ubica asks, he is being helplessly dragged around and has no clue why.
"We're going out."
"Well yeah I can see that, I want to know where!"
"It's as much of a surprise for me as it is for you, just go along with my impulse will you?"
Messor laughs and continues to pull him along until she finds somewhere interesting to stop.
"How about this place?" she asks.
They have reached a restaurant atop of a hill that has a nice view of a nearby lake. Vines line the pillars of the brick structure and it really gives off a classy feel.
Ubica sighs, without much regard to the building or scenery he answers, "It looks good to me."
So with that they get a window seat and order a bottle of wine to start off the night.
"You don’t have to look so uncomfortable, Ubica. Is there some place else you’d rather be?"
"No it’s not that, I guess I’m just wondering what the occasion is."
Messor takes a sip of her wine and looks out the window. "Why do you think? I just want to spend some time with you... don't you think this view is romantic?"
"Yeah sure, but it depends on who you're with." he says, the smirk on his face accompanying the subtle mock in his tone.
Noticing this, she closes one eye and says, "Oh? So if you were with one of those other girls would it be better?"
Ubica was in the process of drinking his wine when she said that so he jolted in surprise and spilled some on his shirt.
"You’ve grown clumsy now, how unlike you..." Messor says as she leans over the table and wipes his shirt with a napkin. With her face close to his she looks him in the eyes and sternly asks, "It’s funny, being around you.”
Ubica shifts his glare away from her and out the window when he replies, “How so?”
Messor laughs, after wiping his shirt she leans back in her chair. “In a way, you’ve grown so unfamiliar to me. You’re an almost comical version of your former self.”
She gestures to a waiter for another bottle of wine before turning back to face him.
“But I’m still as drawn to you as I ever was, and it appears you have that same effect on the people around you.”
Ubica squints his eyes as he bitterly drinks his wine and says, "If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re insulting me."
She smiles and says, "In a way I am, but I’m also insulting myself you know? We are one after all, being the person you are has changed me as well."
The two have been at the restaurant for close to an hour now and the city lights that shine off the lake make the view all the more beautiful.
Ubica has his head rested on the wooden table and Messor sits there with a wide smile on her face.
"I see you can't hold your liquor anymore huh?"
It is quite apparent that Ubica is flushed because the wine went to his head so fast that it felt like an anvil is pressing against the front side of his brain, making it very difficult to keep upright.
"Believe it or not this is the first time I’ve drank anything since I left the pit. I’m feeling nauseous." he says into the table, his voice muffled as it bounced off the wooden canvas.
"It can’t be that bad, we used to drink all the time back in the day. Two bottle of wine is nothing."
"That was over a thousand years agoI" he yells as he tries to lean up, pouting like a child.
Messor shrugs her shoulders and says, "It’s not like shoved it down your throat, you were the one who did the drinking."
Ubica huffs air out of his nose and flops his head back on the table.
With a sigh of resignation he says, "I knowwww."
Messor drinks the last of the wine before saying, "Tell me something... since this is something you haven’t done since you got back to Earth, why did you drink with me in the first place?"
He tilts his head up and uses his chin as a stool to his eyes and says, "I'm not that drunk yet... so don't expect me to spill my guts any time soon."
She leans back in her chair and puts her legs on the table, causing the back legs of her chair to teeter dangerously against the ground.
"I'm not trying to get you to confess anything special to me, I just want to know why."
He shuts his eyes and leans his head to the side, with a guilty tone in his voice he says, "Because... I owe you for time lost."
She immediately sits astute and looks surprised, she has an unusual sloppiness in her composure when she asks, "What does that mean?"
Ubica gives her a genuine, soft smile and answers, "For all of that time I left you alone..." He stands to his feet and walks to her, putting his hand on her shoulder. "I owe you for that, and I want to make it up to you. Sharing a few drinks with you is the least I could do.”
“If that’s the least you can do, just how far are you willing to go for me?”
“Far enough for you to forgive me. I know you told me that you have, but I know when you’re hurting, I can feel it too.”
Messor stands to her feet, clasping his hand into hers tightly.
“Hmph, then you know that just as greedy as ever, it may take a while before I get tired of your affection.”
The two leave the restaurant and are now walking hand and hand down the lighted streets and cross the bridge over the lake. Ubica gestures to her to sit on the bench at the viewpoint in the very center of the lake overlooking the city lights reflecting off the water. She obliges and he walks to the railing and smiles when he feels the cool breeze to flow through his hair.
"Hey... can I tell you something?" Messor asks.
Ubica keeps his back facing her and his eyes stuck on the view when he replies, "Sure."
As soon as he replies he feels her rub up against his back and her arms once again wrap around him, he can feel her trembling and it has really caught him off guard.
Messor squeezes him really tight when she softly says, "I love you."
"They’ve been gone for way too long!" shouted Tsubiri, squeezing at the sheets of her bed in frustration.
The group has booked their rooms in the hotel and the girls and guys have been split like usual, so Tsubiri, Trojia, Daey and Niomyo are all sitting on the two twin size beds they'll be sharing later on in the night.
"I'm sure they are just talking about all the abilities we have now or something, you’re making too big a deal out of it." Daey replies, she is lying comfortably on her back against the soft cushions of the bed next to Tsubiri.
Even Trojia isn't too worried about this, her first impressions of Messor have been nothing but positive, the God of Harvest that has already done so much to help them isn’t threatening to her at all.
Trojia grabs a pillow and tosses it at Tsubiri, hitting her square in the face. "Daey’s right, they’ll be back soon."
Tsubiri grabs the pillow and chucks it back to her. "You too?? How do you guys not find this suspicious!?"
Both Daey and Tsubiri throw another pillow at her and simultaneously shout, "Because it's not!"
Tsubiri puffs her cheeks and walks to the door. "Well I think it is, so I'm gonna go find them!"
She sticks her tongue out at them and makes a funny sounding 'Bleeeeeeeh!' noise, with that she exits the room and loudly shuts the door behind her.
The two princesses sigh and lay back on their beds.
Niomyo, who has been silently watching Tsubiri agonize over Ubica’s absence for the last half hour, has a troubled frown on her face. "I don’t understand you three. How can you all be so infatuated with that boy?"
"Huh? Where has this come from?" asked Daey with her eyebrow raised.
"It comes from common sense, do you not know what he is? That boy is a damn mon--"
"Shut up Niomyo!" Trojia interrupts.
The two are suddenly locked in an intense stare, leaving Daey wondering just what in the world is going on.
"Uh... am I missing something here?" she asks with a nervous smile on her face.
The tension could be cut with a butter knife, but is quickly broken when Trojia smiles, turns to her and shrugs it off. "It's nothing, Niomyo is just overprotective."
"Umm, okay... well then, I'll leave you two to your ways, I'm gonna go get some dinner at the hall."
Feeling awkward in the heavy atmosphere the two had just created, she decided to leave.
"What the hell are you doing!?" Trojia yelled upon Daey’s exit.
Niomyo frowns and tries to prove her point by shouting even louder, "I'm trying to knock some damn sense into you!"
"At what cost!? Tsubiri and Daey don't know about him, you almost blabbed!"
"They should know, it's for their own good that they do know so they back away from him!"
Trojia grits her teeth and smacks Niomyo with the pillow at her side with so much force that the feathers come bursting from the seams.
"Remember who you are talking to!"
Surprised by Trojia’s sudden outburst, Niomyo’s tone softens when she replies, "B-But, I'm only trying to protect you."
"You don’t need to protect me from him. All you’re doing is forcing what you think is best on me, you’re not even considering how I might feel."
Niomyo is left speechless, she has nothing to say, Trojia’s actions have put her back in her rightful place as an expendable bodyguard. She knows that Trojia doesn't think of her that way, but at this moment she certainly feels it. As far as their professional relationship is concerned, it shouldn't matter what her opinion is, her job is to protect whoever it is that she is assigned to protect, and anything other than that should be considered a luxury.
Niomyo bows and says, "I must apologize, I was out of bounds and I deserve to be punished."
Trojia sighs and says. "You know I'll never punish you. I just want you to trust my judgement, since coming here I’ve finally been able to make decisions for myself. This is what I want, and it’s something I’m willing to risk anything for.”
“I understand. It takes a lot of strength to be so resolute in one’s own judgment. Knowing what you’re willing to risk to follow it has really made me realize what must be done.” Niomyo replied, her head still bowed down and her blank gaze sharply fixated on the floor.
“Then let's go join Daey for some dinner and put this behind us?"
Trojia leaves the room but Niyomio lags behind, her fists are clenched and she’s gritting her teeth.
“Your judgement is the reason I must follow mine, Princess. As much strength as it is for you to risk so much for him, I’m willing to risk even more for you.”
"Are you kidding?" Ubica asks, turning to face her while still being held in her arms.
"Do I sound like I'm kidding?" Messor replies bluntly, she squeezes him even harder as to show him she is serious.
"But isn't it im--"
"Impossible." Messor interrupts. "I don’t think it is, even though the two of us like to think it’s something we’re incapable of understanding, I’ve learned that I’ve always felt this way about you.”
“I’m not the same person as back then though.”
“Because you’re not the same, you know the reason why I’m able to feel the way I do.”
A swarm of conflicting emotions are flowing through his head, and he is trying to make sense of it all.
“So this has me wondering something.” Messor says, looking up to him even though he is averting his gaze awkwardly.
“What is it?”
She puts her face close to his, so much so that their noses are touching and he is forced to look at her; with the white gold of her eyes and the light green of his colliding under the lights of the city, she smiles and says,
"This new version of you… must have only recently figured out how to love someone.”
"Ughh of course I’m not going to be able to find them, what in the world was I thinking?" Tsubiri said with a sigh.
She’s walking through the city trying to find Ubica and Messor but she is having no luck, in fact, she is completely lost.
"Damn, everyone is gonna make fun of me for this."
She pouts and decides that if she keeps walking she'll only get more lost, so the nearest rest point she can find will be where she will relax for a few moments to gather her thoughts. Up ahead of her is a bridge crossing a lake splitting one side from the city from the other, knowing that the view from the middle of the bridge would allow her to look for landmarks that might help guide her back, she decides to head over to it.
"I guess I'll hang out there for a little bit and figure this out."
Ubica again awkwardly attempts to turn his head away from her, “I’m pretty sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
"You most definitely do. Change like this just doesn’t happen without someone having a hand in it, you just haven’t realized it yet."
“Just when did you have time to think of all this anyways?” he said with a sigh.
“So who is it?”
“Who is what?”
Messor laughs a little and walks to the guard rail, standing shoulder to shoulder, she looks out onto the sparkling lights on the water and says, “The person in the group you’re traveling with that taught you how to love."
After a moment of contemplating he replies, "It’s not just one of them… everyone in our group, they are all very precious to me."
“That’s a lie.”
The tips of Messor's lips softly rise.
"There is one person most special to you, and I want to know it is.”
“You’re really overthinking this. Why is it even important anyways?” Ubica replies, agitation now evident in his tone.
He attempts to avoid answering this question by escaping her grasp and walking away from the viewpoint, but Messor latches onto his arm and stops him in his tracks.
"I'm not letting go until you answer me."
"L-Let go! This is stupid."
"No way, I can tell by your reaction that you have someone in mind."
“I don’t understand why you’re pestering me about something that even I don’t believe is there.”
"Because it's important for me to know."
She lets go of her grasp on his arm and quickly constricts her arms around his waist like an anaconda, so now he is completely stuck.
"So tell me."
By now she is squeezing so hard he finds it difficult to breath, so fearing suffocation he says, "Fine! Now ease up a little!"
Messor loosens the strength of her grip, but doesn't let him go. Trying to ignore the intense glare that he is getting pelted with, he looks away toward the bustling street at the bottom of the arched bridge and pauses for a moment while deep in thought.
"I guess if I had to choose..."
Zoning out into the distance he finds it very difficult to tell her, he had always considered everyone in the group as equally important to him, and being forced to basically choose a favorite has him feeling guilty picking one over the other.
"It would be..."
He is about to say the name of the person when at the base of the bridge he spots the honey gold eyes of a girl looking at him with an expression like she had just stumbled upon a scene of a horrible crime she wasn't supposed to witness.
A cool breeze just happened to blow from the lake and sent her magenta hair flowing in the gale.
Surprised at suddenly locking eyes with her from afar, Ubica says her name,
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