Chapter 57: Feelings and Old Memories
TESSIA ERALITH’S POV:
I kissed him… I k-kissed him!
As I ran out of the room, I could feel the temperature in my face rising rapidly. That was my first k-kiss! I wonder if he liked it? Did I do it right? My face didn’t look weird as I kissed him r-right?
I stop in the hall and look at my reflection in the window. I stand right in front of it and pretend to kiss Art again to see how I looked.
“EEK! NOOO!!” Banging my head on the window in embarrassment, I could only groan at the thought of how weird I must’ve looked to him. As I look outside through the window with my forehead still glued against it, I touch my lips with my fingers.
His lips sure were soft. They were a bit chapped since he was so hurt but it felt nice.
I notice that my face in the reflection showed a perverted grin on it.
Oh God, I’m turning into a pervert. I wonder if I came on too strong? What if he didn’t like it? What if he thinks I’m some sort of pervert now?
“UGHHH” I slump down to my knees as my forehead slides down the window.
Wait. How am I supposed to face him now? Things were just getting better too! Did I just ruin everything? What if he ignores me now, when he sees me?
A throbbing ache thumped in my chest as tears start welling up in the corner of my eyes. I wouldn’t be able to bear it if Art ignored me like that.
Should I go back to his room and pretend it was all a joke? I imagine myself bursting in the room laughing and pointing at him. “Got you! Hahaha! You really fell for it!”
Am I stupid? I groan again at the stupidity of it all.
No! You did the right thing, Tess! Things would never progress if I left it up to Art’s pace! He still thinks of me as a child every time we’re together. It was for the best!
“Yeah!” I fist pump the air to encourage myself but I still let out a big sigh at the thought of him not liking me.
“Tch!” Who cares! If that stupid Art chooses to ignore me, I can just find someone better than him! He wasn’t that great anyway! He’s just a teeny bit better looking than average. He’s only slightly better than mediocre in magic, right?
Sigh. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else but Arthur. Sure, over the years, there were nobles that tried to impress me and tried to get close but they weren’t like Arthur.
That stupid Art! He’s such a player! “Don’t furrow your brows, Tess. Your face will turn ugly.” I say in a mocking tone while imitating him.
Tch! Making my heart skip a beat for no reason! That stupid player!
“GAH! Who cares if he doesn’t like you, Tess! It’s his loss! What don’t you have? I’m a talented mage! I’m also pretty smart and I’m popular too, right? I don’t want to sound conceited but I have a bit of confidence in my looks, right? Arthur is the one that’s missing out if he doesn’t snatch you up!” I point at my reflection as if she’s a different person.
I wonder what kind of excuses I should make to talk to Arthur. There were plenty of excuses! His Mother personally asked me to watch over him, yeah! A-and also the beast core assimilation! I could just ask him to help me with it since he’s the one that gave me the beast core! It’s only right that he takes the responsibility right?
I take one last look back at where Arthur’s room was before I slump back to my dorm.
ARTHUR LEYWIN’S POV:
I k-kissed Tess…
I kissed Tessia Eralith, a thirteen-year-old girl. Isn’t this a crime? Am I a criminal? No, calm down. I’m in the body of a twelve-year-old boy. Why do I feel so guilty then? I shouldn’t, right?
She’s the one that kissed me after all! I’m the victim here! Making a move on me while I’m in this vulnerable state. She sure was smart, that Tess. As I stared blankly at the door that she left through, my shaking hand finally reached my lips and I just lay there, dumbfounded, touching my mouth as my mind can’t help but recall the soft, moist touch of her lips.
This is wrong. Yes, I’m technically only twelve years old, but with the mental age from my previous life and this life combined, I was almost 50! Even assuming that I had kids late, Tess would still be around the age of a daughter if I had one.
Goddammit! All of this is because of this accursed body! These raging hormones in my body right now! The reason I’m feeling so guilty is because I actually enjoyed it. It felt nice when Tess kissed me. It shouldn’t feel nice and I shouldn’t enjoy a kiss from a little girl, but I did.
I groan, half from pain and the other half from thinking what was going to happen between Tess and I. Knowing her, she was probably overthinking a lot of things right now and she’s going to be really uncomfortable around me.
I almost laugh at the thought of what people might think of Tess when she’s with me. If someone didn’t know any better, they might even assume that she hated me since she’s the type to act cold when she doesn’t know what to do.
Something tells me that if I don’t clear things up with her, there will only be more misunderstandings.
How should I clear things up though? It’s not like she confessed or anything. Should we date? No, no, no. Did kids our age even know what dating was?
I look back and think of the time when I was twelve in my past life. When I was twelve, my life was filled with only training. Being raised in an orphanage and getting sent to an institute solely dedicated to raising duelists, I can’t say that I really have any experience in dating.
We were too young anyhow, right? I’m technically only twelve in this body! Is this body even capable of reproducing yet? Oh God, now you’re overthinking this, Arthur.
Haa… it’s not like I hate Tess. I’m actually quite fond of her. She is still immature in some senses, but I shouldn’t let that be an excuse right?
“What do you think, Sylv?” I poke my sleeping bond as her body slowly heaves up and down with her breaths. I’m surprised she didn’t wake up when Tess kissed me.
As I play with my bond’s ears and paws, my breaths begin to synchronize with hers and I soon fall asleep.
Over the past couple of days, quite a few people came to visit me while my body was recovering. Curtis came by and asked if I was okay. I only shot him a grin and said that his move was pretty damn strong, making him laugh. Claire Bladeheart came by to make sure I was okay. She also kept me up to date on the Disciplinary Committee meetings so I wouldn’t be totally lost when I went back.
I was surprised Kathyln came by herself instead of with her brother. She asked if I was okay and I swear, she had a worried expression on her face. I was more surprised by that than anything else. I could tell everyone had a lot of questions. Curtis looked like he wanted to ask me something a few times but he held back because of my condition. When Professor Glory came by to visit, she brought me some fruits.
“I’ll tell you now, Lucas has been pretty heated up in class. I can’t blame him, though. To him, it must’ve felt like he was beating you in every sense, but you suddenly disappeared from his spells and appeared a few hundred meters away instantly.” She paused before continuing.
“H-how did you do it anyways? I’ve never seen anything like that. You should know that even Director Goodsky isn’t capable of what you just did. Instant teleportation was always thought of to be a myth. Yet, here you are, a twelve-year-old.”
By this time, I was able to sit up without it hurting that much so I lifted myself up just enough to be eye-level to the seated Professor Glory.
“Growth isn’t stopped by a lack of talent or a series of unfortunate luck. Growth is stopped once the person limits his own ability to grow. With that said, I believe everyone has a secret or two they wish to keep to themselves.” I sink back down in my bed, leaving Professor Glory confused and without a means to respond.
Director Goodsky visited once. I asked what was happening to the class I was supposed to be teaching and they said that, for now, Professor Glory volunteered to take on the extra class as a substitute until I’m better. She didn’t stay for long and came mainly to update me on how Tess was doing.
“As her assimilation continues, she’s becoming more and more stable. These past couple of days, she has only had one more fit.” She states.
“Thanks for taking care of her, Director.” I give her a smile.
“Don’t thank me, Arthur. She is my precious disciple after all. Ahh, that reminds me. I will be out of the academy for a couple days for some business. Since Virion has gone back, I need you to help Tessia with her assimilation until I am back. Can you do that for me?” She says before leaving through the door.
“Uh, yeah. S-sure, I can do that.” I shake my head helplessly at this. I’m not sure if Director Goodsky really has errands to run but she was definitely giving me an excuse to meet Tess.
My body’s recovering rate was a lot faster thanks to the assimilation of Sylvia’s Dragon Will into my muscles and bones. I also spent this time while recovering to also meditate and develop my mana core. I was at the threshold of breaking out of the dark yellow stage but it would take a bit more time until I could reach solid yellow. I would still feel a bit weak, but I planned on leaving the infirmary room and resuming normal school life starting tomorrow. My body felt stiff from being in bed for so long.
“Come in.” I turn my head as Sylvie hops off the bed and goes towards the door.
“I came to visit you!” My father has a wide grin on his face as soon as he notices how much better I look than before.
“Hey, Dad.” I smile back as Sylvie ‘kyus’ in greeting before hopping back up next to me.
Taking a seat, my father catches me up on everything going on at home. We talked for quite a bit of time and I realized how comfortable it was to talk to my father. Family sure was different than anyone else. The fact that he didn’t have any ulterior motives, no plan, no secrets, was comforting. He just wanted what was best for me.
After a brief period of silence, I ask him something that’s been bothering me. “Hey Dad. How come Mom never really uses her magic? I mean, she healed small wounds for me when I was little and stuff, but that was about it. I remember you telling me how great of an Emitter she was.”
Looking at my father, I’m surprised that his usual bright face turns a little sullen.
“Your mother, she carries a lot of weight in her heart.” Letting out a deep sigh, he continues.
“I know you’re mature enough to know this but I want you to be patient. She’ll tell you when she feels ready so I want you to wait for her to tell you directly.” He scruffs my hair as we change the topic.
“How’s everyone doing at home anyway?” It hasn’t been that long but it still feels like it’s been a while since I’ve spent some time with my family.
“Oh, you know, your mother is busy mingling with her friends. Your sister, though, she’s becoming quite a handful.” He chuckles to himself.
“Maybe we had it too easy raising you, but I sometimes just don’t know what to do with Ellie.” Scratching his head, I notice some wrinkles that he hasn’t had before.
“Just give her some space. She’ll come around.” Patting my father’s arm weakly, I reposition myself as I feel my body cramping up.
“I should let you rest, Son.” He pinches my nose softly and quietly leaves through the door, leaving me wondering what could possibly have happened with Mother that she became too traumatized to use her powers.
“Kyu?” Sylvie asks me what I’m thinking of and I just shake my head. “It’s nothing, Sylv. I hope.”