Chapter 6.2 – Walking Through the Gardens
It was already late afternoon and the sun should be setting soon. Golden rays of light were drawing arabesques on the surface of the pond. Ran stood under the pavilion, tuned in her senses, and again scanned her surroundings. The fishes were obviously not ordinary, the lotus had a faint aura, and lily roots were sending faint magic vibrations. It would be a waste to leave without taking anything from this pond. As she was forming her plan in her head, her eyebrow arched in contempt; a fellow otherworlder was walking towards her direction. With a repressed a smile, she vowed to punish that disobedient maid.
Ran heard footsteps getting closer and closer, yet didn’t react.
“Trash like you shouldn’t show their face in public. It’s disgusting!”
Ran swiftly turned around, “Goodness! Did she really think that looking like a blowup doll was attractive?” Nora stood proud with chest sticking out and her full lips full of scorn.
“I have the right to be here too,” Ran turned and answered with a trembling voice, her face looking hurt.
“Hmph! You really think you’re on the same level as us?”
“I… I was summoned here too. I didn’t do anything wrong,” Ran tried to compose herself but still appeared pathetic.
Nora observed the young woman in front of her and found only a useless-looking average girl. They were supposed to be heroes. They had the chance to choose their powers and even change their looks. But how could this girl refuse those gifts? Why on earth would she pass the chance to be powerful and beautiful? This girl was a disgrace. Wouldn’t others gossip about such a person was among their ranks? Nora’s heart boiled with derision. And from deep within her mind, the scene of that mysterious half-elf shielding the girl earlier flashed and ignited a fierce anger inside her.
“Slut!” Nora slapped Ran with so much force that her flying straight into the water.
Without giving her a chance to cry out, Ran slammed hard into the water. She spent a couple of breaths underwater before surfacing up with much effort. When she tried to hold on to the bridge, Nora stepped on her fingers and gave her a kick to her head. Ran fell back and as if something was pulling her from the bottom, she sank underwater.
That girl wouldn’t be missed. The weak easily dies after all. Waves upon waves crashed on the bridge and splashed around the pond, as Nora stood still with delight written all over her face. Earlier, she had felt a sense of danger around Ran. Obviously, that trash of girl would try to steal her spotlight. Now that the eyesore was gone, she felt good about herself. A moment later, a gust of wind passed her by before she vaguely saw someone dive in.
Several minutes had passed before two heads emerged, and soon a dark-haired half-elf was seen dragging Ran’s body onto the bridge. He discovered she wasn’t breathing and started doing chest compressions in panic. Not more than 5 compressions after, Ran started coughing out water. Rikku sighed in relief. He came right in time, but he had some mixed feelings about this rescue. They hadn’t known each other for more than half a day and yet he felt like their whole existence was significantly intertwined.
How absurd! He shook his head. After much deliberation, he came to believe that Ran was hiding something. He sighed. There were too many people he had to be careful around with, he had to keep his guard up all the time. He threw a death glare towards Nora and her face turned awry.
“You did that,” Rikku simply stated.
“I dare you, emo boy!” Nora hissed. Why would he protect her like that when they had just met? Why would he notice that trash and not her? Soon, wisps of fire started to gather around Nora’s fist.