Frei and Rena returned to the base of the tower to warm up themselves. After lighting up the fireplace with fire magic, Rena sat cozily on the big couch while the fire was cackling; opening the book she borrowed from Jean. Frei just dropped himself on the couch.
"Can't you sit somewhere else?" She gave him an annoyed look.
"I want to sit next to you." He said shortly.
"You're too close. Don't cross this line." She said, putting a small decoratiom pillow as a line separating her from Frei. "Just remember you still owe me 763 apologies."
Watching her behavior, he couldn't help smiling.
"How many spells have you mastered these past few weeks?" He asked.
She tilted her head and looked above, thinking. "Umm... So far I only knew three attacking spells, but I have mastered all the basic spells, both attribute spells and non-attribute spells."
"I see." Frei nodded once. "Jean is definitely the perfect teacher for you."
"Why?" Rena said, glancing at him.
"Because you are both don't have a certain affinity. Normally, you couldn't master ALL the basic spells."
"Oh..." She was surprised by this information.
"Jean didn't tell you that?" Now it was Frei's turn to be surprised.
She shook her head. "He gave me a book and I consult with him if I have a problem mastering a spell."
Frei dropped his head, his hand was covering his face now. And then Rena saw his shoulder was shaking. "Hahaha... I guess that's expected of Jean."
"Can you explain about it more?" She said.
And so Frei explained that most magicians usually born with certain affinity, there were four major elemental types; fire, water, earth, and air, although there were some who born with more specific elemental attributes, like light, dark, lighting, wood, etc.
"I see... I didn't know that a magician born with a certain affinity." Rena said after listening to Frei's explanation. She had no problem casting all the elemental and non-elemental attributes.
Jean only explained stuff to her when she was asking, and he just let do trials and errors with the spell until Rena got the gist of them.
She was staring blankly at the open book she held in her hand when a thought crossed her mind. This was a good chance to know more about him, Rena lifted her head, turning her gaze on Frei. "How about you? That power of yours, are you a non-attribute type?"
"Me? I'm not a magician. I couldn't cast any spell." He gazed at the fireplace.
"But... That anti-magic, isn't that also a type of magic?"
"Probably. I don't know. Nobody really knows." He shrugged his shoulders. "I was born like this."
"Then... How about your parents?" She asked.
"Died." He answered impassively.
Judging from how he answered her question, she knew he didn't want to talk about it. She looked at the book that was on her lap, unread. When Rena was quiet, Frei turned to her, glancing at the book on her lap.
"What book is that?" He asked.
"The Amethyst Wizard's Life." She answered. "I haven't had a chance to read your books. So, when I see this, I knew I must borrow this."
The neglected open book was being the focused of attention now.
She read the text loudly to distract herself, "Born Alphard Romulus Nile on Deimos year 357 in Ulthran, Alesia Kingdom. He was the first son of The Duke of Ulthran, Romulus Lucere Nile with Rhea Nova Nile..."
"Where is Alesia Kingdom?" She spontaneously asked the question, recalling there were seven kingdoms in this world but hadn't heard about Alesia Kingdom.
"That kingdom doesn't exist anymore. The land where Alesia Kingdom reigned before was now part of Hisute Empire."
"Oh... Ok." She uttered a short acknowledgment that she heard what he said.
Rena kept reading out loud to chase away her nervousness. She knew he was watching her from the side.
She stopped reading as her mouth and throat became dry. By this time, she had learned that this famous wizard was a noble, a genius, and a research maniac... which reminded her of someone. She closed the book and looked outside. The western sky had been painted with a shade of orange and red.
"Are you thirsty? I have something good for you."
Frei moved his hand, pulling something from his pocket.
She frowned, looking at him suspiciously before she recognized the brown leather pouch. It was the pouch she got from Baudric. Rena watched in confusion as Frei opened the pouch. When he pulled his hand, his fingers were pinching one of the Slime Jelly. Frei seemed to shake the jelly with his fingers, but it was actually the monster trying to escape.
"Open your mouth." He said.
"Isn't that for your client?"
"No, this is for my town's Guild Master. I have more than enough to give it to him. And you deserve to get some since you're the one who got these creatures, right?" He tilted his head with that naughty smile plastered on his face.
Rena was curious about the taste of Slime Jelly, but she didn't feel like trying it, especially when he was smiling like that.
"Thanks, but you can have it. I'm not interested." She looked away.
"I can eat it and we can share the taste with… a kiss~" He blew the last word in her ear.
"Give it to me." Her hand moved, trying to snatch the Slime Jelly from Frei. He lifted his hand above, so she couldn't reach it.
"Open your mouth." He said again. "I promise I won't do anything weird."
With a skeptical look, she opened her mouth, she swore he would regret it if he didn't keep his promise.
Frei lifted his hand and shoved the Slime Jelly into her mouth.
"Mmmph!" Rena widened her eyes in surprise when the Slime Jelly exploded in her mouth.
The cooling sensation spread inside her mouth, the taste was slightly bitter, but it was deep and rich. It reminded her of a dark chocolate, although the flavor wasn't the same. It was nothing like she'd ever tasted, and the flavor was in a good combination with the coolness. When she swallowed it, the refreshing feeling spread inside her body.
"How's it?" Frei asked. "How does it taste?"
"It's good! I was surprised when it exploded in my mouth! At first, it was slightly bitter but cool at the same time! When the coolness spread inside my body, the flavor also changed in my mouth, leaving a fruity sweet aftertaste!" She stopped talking for a second. "It's... bittersweet..."
Frei was smiling looking at her. She looked away, blushing, realizing that she got too excited and forgot that she was angry at him.
"Let me tell you something interesting." He said, still smiling at her. "Each Slime Jelly had its own unique flavor. There would never be two Slime Jelly with the same exact flavor."
She looked at him again, interested in what he said.
Frei spoke again, "Some said it depends on what they eat, but isn't it just like a person? Even a twin has their own difference."
"It's amazing..." Rena looked at the Slime Jelly pouch in his hand.
"Do you want more?"
She shook her head. "No, you should try one as well."
"But you ate the one I want to eat." He said.
"Then you shouldn't give it to me." She covered half her face with the book, protecting her lips from Frei. "I'm not sharing it with you."
He smiled again, seeing her reaction. The way she behaved really made him want to tease her, but he refrained to make her more angry at him.
"What?" Rena said, looking at him suspiciously.
"Last night, it didn't seem it was your first kiss."
She glanced up, looking at him. "Well, yeah. It wasn't my first time kissing someone."
It's true that wasn't her first kiss but it was the first time she kissed like that. She couldn't explain how she did it, she was merely following his rhythm and her instinct. And to be accounted, Rena only ever kissed someone else once before.
Hearing her words, his expression froze for a few seconds.
"Who?" He asked, maintaining his calm expression although he suddenly felt annoyed. "Who did you kiss before?"
"Are you sure you want to hear my love story?" She tilted her head and smirked.
She said it confidently, but actually, it was one of her bad memories. It was one of the nightmares she got after drinking Jean's memory potions.
Frei didn't respond to her provocation, so she continued speaking, "I had a boyfriend before. I liked him for a long time... But well, it just didn't work out."
He thought it must be because she got kidnapped and they got separated. He misunderstood her smile as a sad smile of separation.
He didn't know that the truth was far from that. They just broke up naturally, the way normal teenagers on earth ended their relationship.
And it wasn't that kind of heartbreaking story that traumatized Rena to never had any romantic relation again with a guy.
The young Aoki Rena had liked the boy for three years. The boy confessed when they were in 9th grade. She was flying to the 9th cloud at that time. Her first love blooming like sakura flower in the spring. Then they started dating.
And on their first date, they kissed.
But they broke up a few days later.
She broke him up.
Cheating? No, not that thing.
All her friends wondered what happened. But Rena kept her mouth shut, never told anybody about the reason.
The tragic truth is... after her first kiss, she suffered holding herself not to puke... Alas, the guy had a bad breath. She dashed to the bathroom after she got home, ignoring her grandma who kept knocking on the door in worry, brushing her teeth multiple times until her gum bled and hurt. She swore the aftertaste lingered for a few days. That incident broke her maiden heart and she developed PTSD over a kiss ever since.
And another truth Rena would never admit, Frei cured her trauma that night.
After that conversation, both were quiet. Frei was wearing inexplicable expression and Rena didn't understand why.
"Well, it's getting dark, let's go back to the mansion." She said.
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