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Messages - DeAngelus

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 26
1
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club (18+)
« on: June 20, 2019, 11:37:40 AM »
Chapter 23 : Complications

Spoiler
Time passes by in awkward silence after the meeting that had gone defunct after the sudden entry of an unwanted guest had ended , with everyone minding their own business entertaining themselves , Atramille watching an unknown show being aired on the television alongside Aundlexia , Meredine is having her focus on her pedicure , Illysses is in the middle of a casual conversation with Elshtine at the far corner and the sky blue-haired lady spacing out , under the observation of the blank-minded Ron standing by the corridor that leads to his bedroom where Joshua is currently resting in , unconscious from the effects of the unknown powder , still struggling to comprehend the new developments to his struggles in life .

Ron (Thought) : *Continued on observing them in silence* ... ah , what to do ... not enough room for them , keeping them from catching more attention just for their appearances , having to teach them the current workings of the daily lives with what limited knowledge I had myself ... my stomach and head's churning from the prospect of more problems to come .

Meredine : *Notices Ron by the entryway to the corridor contemplating* ... something in your mind , Ron ?

Ron : *Snaps out* U-u-uh , no ... it's nothing *walks away* .

Meredine : *Ponders for a moment* ... hey , does he always act like that with you ... Atramille ?

Atramille : *Still had her attention on the television* As always .

Meredine : Hurmm ~ ?

Illysses : ... tch , this is pointless , coming down here , only to be some puppet of someone who's too content with keeping to himself .

Meredine : ... it's the same tale when you were up there ... cowering in an empty room ever since we brought you back ... *points at Elshtine , surprising her* ... always preoccupied with her .

Illysses : *Leers at Meredine* Mind your insidious tone .

Meredine : Same to you ... questioning mother's decisions behind her back .

The leering exchange between the two begins once more in the middle of the ignorance and obliviousness of Aundlexia , who is too preoccupied with what's being played on the television screen , inflicting fear onto Elshtine , causing her to sweat and curl further away from the possible conflict . Atramille however got up and made her way towards the kitchen ...

Inside Ron's bedroom , plain and white , with basic furnitures present within like a dress cupboard , a full set of bed , complete with its complementary side tables and a work table all lined up on one side of the wall . Joshua is seen still asleep on Ron's bed , with Ron standing by the only window to the room , observing the foggy afternoon scenery outside , deep in thought .

His ongoing deep contemplation on how to proceed with the new obstacles handed over by both Alinna and Libra was interrupted by the sound of destruction somewhere in the direction of where Atramille and her companions are . Panicking on the thought of the worst life-damning scenario coming back to bite him , he rushes out to stop whatever that is happening in the living room from worsening but what greets him was a scene where Atramille is seen with a roller right above the head of Meredine , clearly being smashed with much force down onto the coffee table face first with a swollen large , red bump at the back of her head , with the table itself suffered significant damage as well . Illysses is seen smashed through the plexiglass pane backdoor , dangling from the hole made from the impact as if she was struck by something with enough force to send her flying . Elshtine , Aundlexia and the sky blue-haired lady are clearly shaken in fear from the sight of it , sweating profusely as they tried their best to ignore or not to invoke the wrath of Atramille .

Ron (Pale) : Wh- ... what just happened here ... ?

Atramille : Quelling a conflict . Mother's order .

Ron : *Looked around to see the damage done by her and let out a heavy sigh* ... great job ...

Moments later , in the same room with the shattered hole on the plexiglass pane backdoor seen having patched up in a rather crude manner with tapes and plastic sheet and the damaged coffee table missing from the room .

Ron : Before you guys decide to further add more problems into my life , listen to me . First of all , I didn't even invited you here and you're free to return back to the sanctum . If somehow or for some reason you're not allowed or willing to return back on your own accord , that's your problem , not mine ... so don't pile your discontent and displeasure onto me . Don't even unleashed it into the public as well , be it an inanimate objects or some stranger or you'll be arrested and I still get it all in the end and if that happens , you're on your own . Got it ?

Everyone else but Illysses : *Nods in agreement* ...

Ron : Especially you , Illysses . I still don't understand your antagonistic reaction towards me but let me make this clear . I have nothing against you , or anyone else here for that matter . All I'm asking of you is to not display this act beyond the front door or you're just going to invite trouble upon you and I won't be there to help you - it's beyond my power to bail you out of your misdemeanors .

Illysses (Discontent) : *Ignores Ron* ...

Ron : *Sigh* ... fine , keep it that way if it satisfies you . Doesn't change the fact that you're still under my care , much to my chagrin in shouldering whatever additional problems you bore along with you . *Got up and makes his way towards the front door* Now , I've got to attend another job interview and won't be back until night . I expect all of you to behave yourself and not cause anymore trouble ... got it ?

Atramille & Aundlexia : Understood .

Meredine : You have my word .

Elshtine & sky blue-haired lady : *Nods* ...

Ron looked over Illysses one more time to see if she showed any signs of acceptance or obedience but only to receive the expected response - cold and feigning ignorance , she kept her attention conversing with Elshtine with her back facing him . He can only sigh at his failed initial attempt at trying to prove his non-hostility and boarded onto his public transportation to continue on his job hunt feeling defeated and heavy from the extra problems he had to deal with . Whizzing through series of automobile-packed roads and highways , steel jungles of Dushlam with the accompanying advertising billboards and electronic signs , assorted street signs , trees , traffic lights and pedestrians of all walks of life and wealth , the transport stopped by a small printing service building an hour or two later . He then made his way into the building and never came out , until ...

An hour later , near nightfall ...

Ron : *Exits building , expressing dejection through body language* ... figures . Time to- ... wait , I forgot about that "thorn" *flash image of Illysses in an image of a demon* ... *sighs and looked around* ... I remember Catnip's nearby here as well . *Walks his way towards Catnip* Best get drunk and not remember about it when I go job hunting again tomorrow ...

Moments later , Ron stands in front of what looked to be a recently closed down night bar with its neon sign "Catnip" still mounted on its front wall on top of the rustic wooden pane double-door . The bartender who used to worked in there is seen about to leave the premise .

Ron : ... closed down ?

Bartender : *Notices Ron behind him* Hmm ? ... oh , if it isn't you . Here to drown your sorrow once more ?

Ron : Uh , yeah but it looks like it had ceased its operation .

Bartender : Aye , this business's main income comes from people like you . Company's change of control and policy and rules of conduct made the worker and the work environment better and thus the purpose of this bar is no longer needed . Maybe it's for the best ... got my chance to return back to my hometown .

Ron : Oh ...

Bartender : *Observed the despondent Ron for a moment* ... there are othe-

Ron : *Shakes head* It's fine . I'll just go home instead .

Bartender : Suit yourself . Farewell . *Left the scene*

And so he stood there under a streetlight , surrounded by other commercial lots that also had been closed down along with the night bar behind him as he waits for a public transport he can hail to take him back to his rented apartment and having to face with the very situation he wanted to avoid . As he is waiting for available public transport , back in his small , lit cramp house , everyone else is seen preoccupied , with Atramille and Aundlexia still fixated at the television playing the news channel , the sky blue-haired lady grinding something with a mortar and pestle and the rest gazing towards the the light that illuminates the entire living room of the house , seemingly mesmerized by it .

TV : "Right now on Night Local News . Wuhrer Dekishznov , 33 , Chief Head of Hoff's Advertising Agency Project Development , is found guilty on multiple counts of crime , mainly on the numerous counts of negligent homicide of a number of lives of staffs working in the Project Development Department . The case started on January of 2124 with his arrest that took place in the department in front of the employees of Hoff's Advertising Agency after solid evidences of his crime was given to the criminal investigator by Vanessa Zhu , the daughter of the famous billionaire juggernaut , Guang Zhu , with the help of an anonymous former staff of the department he was in charge with . The court hearing took place on May the same year and lasted only a week and the jury presented their verdict after only several hours of deliberation , with an unanimous vote of guilty on all counts . The prosecuted pleaded not guilty and is being sentenced to multiple life sentences with the bail set to 380 million Herskels (Writers note : roughly $2.5 million) each and the chance to plea for a parole after serving ten years . The lawyers of both prosecutor and defendant and Vanessa Zhu , who was there to represent the victims of the crime , did not release any statement ."

Meredine : I've never seen something that illuminates better than an oil lamp ...

Atramille : *Fixated at the television* It's called a "light bulb" . It uses electricity to create intense heat within its heat resistant glass casing that glows bright enough to create light .

Aundlexia (Confuse) : Uhh ...

Atramille : It's function is no different than a candle , only better at its job overall . It's something I learned as part of the process of familiarizing and blending into Ron's world . I've informed mother to remind everyone of it , including you .

Aundlexia : *Sticks out tongue , scratches head in embarrassment* Oops .

Atramille : *Looked towards Illysses , serious* I strongly encourage that you do so as well or I'll relay your misdeeds to mother personally . She had voiced her reasons into bring you to Ron's side *points at the spherical gem on her own bracelet* at the expense of her very own spiritual vitality .

Illysses : *Frowns in displeasure and nods* ...

Meredine : *Sighs* ... tough , bitter cookie . Still ... I had that tingling feeling that mother's not giving the whole answer ... the closure of the sanctum , ceasing the activities ... and Ron specifically . Perhaps you're willing to shed some light for us before we might ... get into more trouble .

Atramille : ... understandable .

They all gathered around Atramille with their full attention placed on her collective explanation and clarification on things and questions that needs answering in order to ensure a better outcome for their cooperation with Ron and Libra in the near future that goes on deep into night . Ron , after the failed chance at landing a job , finally returned , battered and despondent and makes his way into his dark house and being greeted by the sight of Atramille , fixated at the television as usual watching an unknown show , surrounded by her resting companion .

Ron (Thought) : Howdy homie ... I thought they never had the need to take a nap ... *notices a number of pouches around the sleeping sky blue-haired lady* ... more ammunition for self-defense , huh ?

Not to bother their slumber and Atramille's attention , he slinks his way into his bedroom to find Joshua still sound asleep on his bed , resulting in him unable to sleep on the very bed itself . Letting out a sigh , he concedes to the outcome and rummages through his box for any available blankets and towels , took out what's available and made his way out of the room and towards the living room . Gently as to not wake the sleeping ladies , he covers them each with the blanket in hand , keeping them warm against the cold night . With one last blanket in hand , he went towards Atramille and was about to cover her with it , only to be stopped by her sudden conversation with him in a rather soft tone , startling him into dropping the blanket in hand .

Atramille : Your care is much appreciated but I'm not feeling cold from the night . It's best that you use it instead .

Ron : ... how did you sense my presence somehow ?

Atramille : I noticed you making your way into your sleeping chamber from the corner of my sight .

Ron : Oh . *Sat by the wall next to the television facing Atramille* Umm ... you said that you and your girl friends don't require sleep , why are they now ? Why don't you ?

Atramille : *Turns off television* I had a long talk on clarifications and explanations on the reasons for their stay by your side and everything about you and the events and misfortunes that ties to you , all within my timeline when I was here with you . They got ... tired from listening and once I've divulged all , they all eventually went on to their slumber .

Ron : No surprises there . My brain would be all shriveled from absorbing that amount of info ...

Atramille : I believe it was necessary in bettering the relationship , especially Illysses .

Ron : *Looked towards Illysses* Illysses , huh ... I wonder why she had such hostility towards me .

A flashback scene of both Atramille and Libra standing before Illysses protecting Elshtine with her own body , standing under a dried-out tree in the middle of a barren wasteland .

Atramille : That we do not know of . When we first found her , along with Elshtine , she too exudes the same level of hostility towards us . It was Libra who successfully convinced her into dropping her front after spending some time conversing with her but we didn't find much importance in understanding the true motives behind her aggression and overprotective nature over Elshtine .

Ron : (Protecting Elshtine , huh ?) ... was it only her that I should be aware of on such case ?

Atramille : To an extent , Meredine . However , her reasons are much more upfront and understandable even we did seek the reason behind her hostility directly . Therefore , it is not much of a concern for you .

Ron : How sure are you that she won't pull an Illysses on me and on others especially ?

Another flashback scene of Atramille and Libra standing in front of the sun beaming onto their backs , overflowing around them and onto a horrifying scene where Meredine is seen standing in the middle of a sea of skeletal remains of the deceased , absent-minded and enraged .

Atramille : We found her in a middle of a what was once a large building in the middle of what was once a large town . She stood there absentmindedly with an enraged facial expression and tears flowing down her cheeks , surrounded by skeletal remains and rubble of the ruined building . She initially did not respond to our call at first but after I went to her , calmed her down with words and offering our compassion , comfort and empathy to her wounded and sorrow-filled soul , she began to relaxed and wept onto my shoulder for a long time before Libra took her into her care back in the sanctum .

Ron : You mentioned "once a town" ...

Atramille : *Nods* It was in complete ruin . We only found her and only her shortly after Libra took me into her care .

Ron (Solemn) : Oh ... (Whoever did that must've massacred everything and everyone that breathes and moves ... she must've watched it all happening before her to the point that she was paralyzed and traumatized on the spot . She must've had the will of steel to still have her sanity ...) ... you know , since you've told them of me and my past , you'd not mind to tell me yours and theirs as well ?

Several more flashback scenes being depicted by Atramille herself of Libra's discovery of her and the rest of her companions that is now living with him .

Atramille : *Nods in acknowledgement* I had not asked my mother of my encounter with her and therefore my background is still much a mystery , unfortunately . However , after Meredine's discovery , she didn't wander on in search for more of us and took both of us back to the sanctum and remained there for an undefined amount of time ... until she had her mind made up on resuming where we both left off . Upon setting foot on the very same spot where we last were , she was astonished by the changes that had happened when we last seen and left off . What was once a ruined and desolate town with skeletal remains strewn all over now being enveloped by dense jungle , burying the past beneath dense foliage and roots . The rest of the pilgrimage is of us wandering aimlessly for years , looking for people like me and Meredine and throughout the journey , we discovered the distraught Aundlexia standing at the side of a busy trade street with commoners and traders walking by her as if she wasn't there as she kept calling them out for help that goes unheeded and the maiden with the sky blue hair was discovered curled and trembling in fear inside a severely decrepit but heavily locked wooden hut surrounded by firewood and pottery that was filled with combustible liquid , suggesting that the hut was meant to be burnt down but was unexpectedly and hurriedly abandoned , to name a few of many we had taken into our care back at the sanctum .

Ron (Thought) : ... they all seemed to have such cruel life ... *clenches shirt close to his heart , starts tearing up* ... what's this ? I don't understand why I-*

Atramille : *Notices Ron tearing up and got up to comfort him* You're tearing up . Did I-

Ron : No , not really ... just by the description of their encounter is enough to tell that they must've had horrendous life and no sane person would not sympathize on that ... but why does it feel more pronounced for me ?

Atramille : *Ponders to self for a moment* ... I believe she wishes for you to rekindle with your lost memories of the past by harmonizing yours to theirs , creating memory resonances ... theoretically .

Ron : Theoretically , huh ?

A longing gaze out of the plexiglass pane door towards the moonlight , Ron ponders to himself of Libra's aid in getting back his missing past , letting out a sigh at such thought of a possibility . His eyelids soon got too heavy for him and yielded in the end , he goes deep into slumber , ending his day with much optimism that tomorrow might shine bright for him . As Atramille watches him deep into his slumber , Illysses had already woken up , having her eyes and ears onto the both of them just as they've concluded their talks . Her eyebrow curls slightly downwards , clenching the blanket Ron had covered her with her fist and had a good look at it with her trembling eyes in silence for a moment before releasing her grip onto it and laid her head on it , supported upright by her knees and resumes her slumber .

Ron : ... hey . About that powder , how long will he stay asleep ?

Atramille : Undetermined duration .

Ron : ... pray that he's not dead then .

Manga page count : 22-24
Online proofreading count : 0

2
General Discussion / Re: How do you go about looking for writers?
« on: June 20, 2019, 10:21:36 AM »
I've seen a lot of posts all over for writers looking for artists... What about artists looking for writers? Seriously. I have lots of ideas but Im a better artist than writer(its like beating my head against a wall). How does one look for a writer?
The main reason why artist seeking a writer is much less common because most artists in general are also storytellers themselves to an acceptable level. However when they're in need of a writer, they'd do what a writer would when they need an artist - you look for sites that are populated with writers and if they had a hiring board, use it to get one.

Smackjeeves would probably the place to go to for starter.

Quote
I'd loe to do more work on Araminta or get any other things off the ground. I managed to get in contact with two writers but there both off the clock, could be for a very long time.
Time is money. If they do not respond and/or get the project started/going within a month at most, drop it and seek out another writer. Artists in particular had more leeway in doing so due to the abundant of writers looking for people like you.

3
General Manga writer discussions / Re: Reading = Writing ?
« on: April 08, 2019, 12:26:54 PM »
Good morning citizens,

As usual am lazying around in my writing recently. I already have the major events, characters, small details, background stories and the universe set in my mind, but still not writing. It's not because am not excited about finishing this up, i have been re-tuning this story since as long as i remember and now i got the final plot which makes more excited to write more into it and let the characters "speak to me" into new ideas (Hope this make sense).

So I have been wondering does this slacking of writing i have is because of me not reading books? which makes me impatient with writing? most of my ideas comes from LOAD OF TV series/Movies/Animes/Mangas/Games/Science(Majoring in Geology).
Yes and no. Too little reading (or researching), and you'll wound up against blocks constantly. Too much reading, then you're probably channeling your passion in the wrong area and that you're better being a bookworm as opposed to being (currently) a writer.

Find the right balance and priority. My advice is to take a breather, recollect your bearings and then... resume writing.

Quote
When i write i love to detail everything out which is tiring, most of my beta readers are people around me and i come from a culture where English is a second language and reading is not our strong suit, which makes me try to write less details and get straight to the points when i share with them, to get them into reading and give me a feedback on the "Story" not the writing.

Tell me what do you think? does not reading much effecting me slacking to write? keep in mind i already work from 8AM to 5-6PM and sadly writing in a hobby for me...sadly.
You could write them in the language they can read if you need their feedback on the story part. As for the spelling and grammar of your English, we can help, if we had that time (we had day jobs as well). Look around and ask for one. Otherwise, polish on your English better.

Since this is a hobby for you, best take your time instead of stressing too much about it.

4
A4. 2480 x 3508px at 300dpi.

5
Comics and other Gallery / Re: Monster arts (cute)
« on: February 26, 2019, 12:32:40 AM »
Ok

Like this ???



Like this. Right click the image and view it. If the URL does not have .jpg & .png, to name a few, at the end of it, it won't display the image in question. Be sure to check the URL in the future before posting.

6
Anime Talk / Re: What do you want to see something new in anime?
« on: February 17, 2019, 02:38:44 AM »
For me, it would be, no more fanservice and ordinary highschool MC that becomes OP in the next few episodes. I'd rather have Death Note like anime series instead.
Real fan service (nudity) from the golden age? Or more modern "fan tease" (upskirt and swimsuits).
If you hate the real then I suggest therapy. That will hopefully get you past the misogyny that makes anime fans get profiled as creepy incels. Loving women is totally OK. Women are cool.

A storm is coming...

Anyways, I prefer quality over something new in anime. Something new does not mean it's immune to anything that makes stories in general bad (I'm talking about you, "Isekais" ...). If it's bad, it ain't getting my love and wallet.

7
No information meant help from us is impossible.

8
Manga Art Gallery / Re: Canaggable's Portfolio
« on: February 08, 2019, 06:23:43 AM »


I personally find this the better ones from the rest. Aside from the overuse of black due most of the primary light source hidden behind the mountain in the background (A secondary light source or better placement/emphasis helps), I find softer color palette much more suited for illustrations/paintings.

Otherwise, impressive.

9
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club Discussion Thread
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:56:23 AM »
Eh, screw it. I'll just work on one that had more substance than the rest and continue on from there.

New story coming (not so) soon.

10
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club (18+)
« on: January 30, 2019, 11:20:14 AM »
Chapter 22 : Restart

Spoiler
June 2124 , in a crowded commercial district plaza shrouded in thick and cold mist , Ron is seen seated on a concrete/marble bench that surrounds a tree , taking a break while reminiscing of something while pedestrians of all walks of life walks past by him , living on their daily life . An interjected flashback scene of a office building , covered in stacks of files and papers strewn all over the area and bursting out of a few of the many filing cabinets that covers a large portion of the walls , where Ron is seen seated opposite of a person of a high standing , exerting a posture of a despondent and dejected person .

Ron : *Sighs out a misty puff , low spirited* ... 84th rejection . I just can't land a job that could even barely pay for the rent for the apartment she gave to me and I haven't even count in living expenses ...

Another interjected flashback scene of Alinna lecturing Ron .

Alinna : I know overextending your dependency over my charity can be toxic but it's going to take a long time to even pay off all of the debt you had on your shoulder . What's your academic qualifications ? What work experience do you have under your belt , not counting the ones you had with Hoff's Advertising Agency , and how many years ? What's your age ? You know , you don't have to answer that - I already knew the moment you applied to work in that hell hole . Qualifications matters and you had none to start off with , so the best you can get are hard labor jobs like store clerk that translates to low pay . So , take what you will and stop feeling guilty and going hard on everything , will you ?!?!

Flashback ends .

Ron : Even if you say so , I still can't help but to feel responsible over it ... *deep sigh* ... why nothing ever go to plan ... ?

A silhouette emerges before Ron right after he is done lamenting and spoke to him in a rather commanding , feminine tone .

??? : Nothing in life is ever going to be easy .

And the silhouette unveils itself , revealing the person behind who replied to Ron's lament . Alinna , dressed in the work attire similar to what she had worn back when she worked in Hoff's Advertising Agency , stands before him with a box bag emitting warm steam in one of her hand .

Ron : *Looks up towards Alinna* ... Alinna . What are you doing here ?

Alinna : *Pulls out and offered Ron a cup of warm drink from the bag in hand* Business stuff . Now that I've got too much free time and freedom thanks to series of done dealings with a certain someone and some things ... you know ...

Ron : I do ... sort of .

Alinna : *Sigh* ... still having the same troubles , on top of still beating yourself up , like usual ?

Ron : *Slumps down , letting out a deep sigh* ... like usual . No memories of my past , still jobless ... *takes a drink*

Alinna : *Bittersweet smirk then coached Ron into getting up and walking alongside her* Anyways , I'm currently on my way to your house . This place's not the right place for something I want to talk with you .

Ron (Confused) : O ... okay ?

And they take a long walk towards Ron's rented apartment back in Preogina accompanied by the persistent , chilling mist ...

Ron : So ... why can't we have it going on the spot ?

Alinna : The conversation's best be done in front of them as well .

Ron : So it had to do with them , huh ...

Alinna (Serious) : *Serious tone* ... exactly .

Ron (Thought) : You sounded serious ... must be important then . Not gonna pry on that ...

Alinna : I keep shelving this up somehow but what's with that eagerness in job hunting as soon as you've settled into that apartment I gave you ? You know that you don't even had any formal education and qualifications to even land a job that pays as much as what you last had . Why don't invest those wasted time on getting them ?

Ron : ... I just can't . Everyone's being so charitable and nice to me and they asked for nothing , even of equal value in return ... even Atramille . She never complaint about me freeloading over her house duties and services . I may never know her enough , I just feel like I need to thank her somehow for all she had done so far ... *looked towards Alinna with a heavy expression* and you too .

Alinna : *Making eye contact for a moment before turning her focus towards the sky* ... I see ...

Several hours later , in front of a low-rent apartment complex somewhere in a sub-urban residential district of Preogina , Ron is seen by the front door with Alinna , who showcasing signs of nervousness and anxiousness .

Ron : *Opens door* Howdy hom- ... ie ...

Greeting the stunned surprised Ron , Libra in her vessel host along with five other unfamiliar ladies seated around the table in the middle of the living room . Alone with Libra , two of the five ladies seated by the desk are familiar faces to others but Ron , who was not present at the time of their appearance , Aundlexia and the lady with sky-blue hair who was in charge of offering "questionable" materials used in both keeping Ron's vitality in check and the success of obtaining evidences needed to prosecute Wuhrer for his overall inhumane acts throughout his time of power . The third lady , dressed in a black , heavily-patterned gown and having a deep-dark red , glossy , long hair , did not make her appearance in the mansion where Alinna resides where most of the events took place and were done but had appeared before in Ron's "dream" back in the sanctum , where she was seen attempting in offering him her "service" . The remainder two of the ladies , newcomers to Ron's world , one with a deep , dark brown , short hair that doesn't goes pass her shoulders , dressed in a white medieval garb with puffy shoulder-pads and elongated sleeves that frills out at the end around her hands , a leather corset jacket and a dark-brown , form-fitting trousers seated next to a timid-looking lady with unusually shimmering silver-white hair braided in a way that made her looked like a mystical elf straight out of a fantasy story dressed in a dull and plain grey robe with its matching cape and muffler holding each other's hand . They all faced towards the opened door upon hearing Ron's voice . Atramille , who used to be seen anywhere near Ron or within the house doing house chores or there to greet him is nowhere to be seen .

Libra : Oh ? If it isn-

Ron : *Closes door gently but swiftly* ... eh ... ?

Alinna (Startled) : Wuh-what ? What's wrong ?

Ron (Thought) : *Rubs eye* ... must be fatigue from all of the job hunting ... *opens door with absolute caution* it must be ...

Libra : Is something botherin-

Ron : *Slams door shut , sweating and befuddled* ... no way ...

Alinna : *Grab hold of Ron's shoulder , shaking him up* Wh-what is it ?! What did you s-

Atramille : *Makes a sudden close appearance before them* You're doing it again , Ron .

The sudden sight of Atramille right in front of the door startled the heart out of them , causing both to squeal before tumbling down a certain distance , smashing themselves into something hard lying in the vicinity of the area , knocking both out cold .

Atramille : ... have I done something wrong again ?

In the living room , Ron and Alinna , conscious but having a pronounced and well-rounded bump on their head , are seen seated on the far end of the table , opposite of Libra with the rest of the guests and Atramille herself seated on each side of the table .

Ron : *Places an ice pack onto his bruised head* ... who are these people ...

Libra : They're from where we came from , the sanctum .

Alinna (Thought) : *Leering at the newcomers with suspicious and fearful expression* ... m-more ghosts ...

Atramille : *Had her focus on Alinna for a good amount of time* ... I can assure you , Alinna , that their intention of being here is to claim souls , particularly yours .

Alinna (Nervous) : I-I-I-I-I'm not even concerned about that !

Atramille : Your trembling hands and legs dictates the otherwise . It gave off an impression that you're not-

Alinna (Agitated) : *Slams fist onto table , startling those nearby* S-s-shut up ! How could I not to begin with ?!

Aundlexia : Calm down , will you ? Didn't the first encounter enough to convince you enough to quell your worries ?

Alinna : So you say . Being dead is another thing ... *pulls out a piece of paper with a printed portrait image of Aundlexia attached onto it* ... it's another thing that after much digging around , you had such colorful history dating back centuries ago ! Now , give me a straight answer , what exactly are you all ?

Dark red-haired lady : *Picked up and studies it* ... how interesting , though it's not much of a help for such ... foreign language . Though this hand-sized portrait ... *Looked towards Aundlexia* bears striking resemblance to you ... how enigmatic , don't you think ?

Aundlexia (Confuse) : ... mother , I don't understand ...

Libra : Your confusion is to be expected . Aside from the seeker , I'm fairly certain those residing in the sanctum will not remember anything of themselves .

Dark red-haired lady : *Sweats in disappointment* Well , that didn't help much ... no offense though ...

Libra : None taken . However , she speaks the truth ... about all of you being ghosts or to be exact , lost souls . I brought you into the sanctum after discovering most of you wandering aimlessly under different circumstances , places and time . That reason in itself is mainly why none of you had any memories of self and your own past , though I believe there's more that could do so that I'm not aware of .

Alinna : *Mumbles to self before thrown into the state of shock* ... don't tell me ...

Libra : Your curiosity did indeed offer you some and if not all the answers you need . Though I would like to inform you that the sanctum and its activities dates back more than mere centuries and had offered services to a lot of patrons ... too many to count , unfortunately .

Alinna (Perplexed) : No , it still doesn't make any sense ! How is it that no one doesn't knew of your existence all the while ? There should be some sort of documentation or even fairy tales if they were there before .

Atramille : Those who went there and back will not remember that they were there before . It's part of the effect of being there , in the sanctum , though the exact reason as to why it had such effect is still unknown , even to our own mother .

Alinna : *Looked towards Libra , surprised* ... even to you ?

Libra : Unfortunately yes .

Alinna : How could-

Ron : Umm , sorry for butting in but care to make room to my already chaotic life by telling me ... why you bring them ?

Libra : Oh , forgive my ignorance to your inquiries . I believe proper re-introductions those present here are needed . I do not have a name but if you need one , I am Libra , caretaker of the sanctum and watcher of souls . I offer services to the unfortunate , suffering and lost that varies depending on each souls needs with the goal of offering them new means of life .

Atramille : *Curtsy* Atramille de Surquouis , currently a servant catering to all of Ron's needs .

Aundlexia : Aundlexia Warwinn el Fortuna ... but you already knew who I am , right *winks* ?

Alinna : Right ...

Sky blue-haired lady : ... nameless .

Ron : Huh ? You had none ?

Sky blue-haired lady : ... can't remember ... she tried .

Ron : Who ?

Atramille : The seeker .

Ron (Confuse) : Hhhuh ...

Dark red-haired lady : Name's Meredine Dane ... here to continue on where we left off , Ron .

Ron (Startled) : H-h-huh ? Me ? What is it ?

Atramille : Unfortunately , he hasn't being successful in recalling much of his past memories and therefore , may not remember about it .

Meredine : *Sighs* A shame . *Sultry and seductive tone shift* Man like you will benefit lots from ... the "services" I'm supposed to offer ...

Ron : *Squirms and breaks cold sweat upon realizing her real intentions* ... !!!

Alinna (Thought) : *Frowns from Meredine's salacious act* Highly questionable ...

Dark brown-haired lady : ... Illysses . This lady with me is Elshtine .

Elshtine (Shy) : *Nods* ...

Ron : Uh , pleasure to meet-

Illysses : *Glares at Ron with hostile intent* ...

Ron : *Squirming and sweating from her hostile leering* -you ... (... help !)

Alinna (Thought) : Vengeful spirit detected ...

Meredine : There , there now ... no hostility .

Illysses : ... *turns head away from the rest* .

Libra : *Sighs and shakes her head in disappointment over Illysses's hostile reception* ...

Ron : You know ... though I do appreciate the introductions , I still want the most is why bring them here ?

Libra : It's just an intuition but I can see to an extent , a shared fate these chosen few have to yours . *Smiles* Maybe if they were to live alongside you , both parties may find enlightenment at the end of the tunnel .

Alinna : Wait ! Hold it ! Who gave you the permission to bring in more of your people from wherever that place may be into his life ?! Didn't you consider for one extra second for his well-being ?!

Illysses : I knew we're still not welcom-

Meredine : Hush there , madamme . Your negativity ... it'll become a bane .

Illysses (Annoyed) : Tch ! The value of your "advice" is only as valuable as your very own existence - cheap and impure .

Meredine : Whatever you say ... *glares at Illysses with hostile intent* ... "honey" .

A contest of leering gazes , filled with intentions of causing harm onto each other commences before the panicking and frightened eyes of the sweat-soaked Ron , until a tap onto the table with enough force to make a knocking sound that pierces deep into the consciousness of the both of them , snapping them out of what they're currently doing , prompting the end of what could be a disaster of a meeting .

Libra (Serious) : Enough , both of you ! I do not condone any form of aggression and negativity when in presence of other beings .

Illysses (Flustered) : F-forgive my manners , mother .

Meredine : *Sighs and shrugs* Whatever you desire ...

Ron : *Deep sigh from mounting stress and pressure* ... I'm not enjoying all of this ...

Libra : *Bows in forgiveness* I understand that their hostility can be detrimental to the initial relationship but deep down within each of them lies purity , kindness and compassion ... *looked towards Alinna* the same speaks true about you .

Alinna : Urk- What ... ?

Ron : It's not about that per se ... more like my life's gotten exponentially difficult . Having to take care of more people presents more problems ...

Atramille : If you're concerned about having to shoulder our living expenditure , I can assure you won't need to bear such burden .

Ron : *Deep , long sigh* ... that only took away a grain of rice out of a sack filled with it ...

Alinna : *Pats on Ron's back then gazes towards Libra with a serious and suspicious expression* ... there must be more than just that , is that right ?

Libra : *Nod* Your intuition is accurate . The other reason for their integration into your circle is to better understand the world . I came to realize that much has changed during the time the door opens once more , welcoming them into our sanctum ...

Two-part black and white , stain-glass panels depicting people surrounding and/or interacting with a center figure , one of which or a hooded figure holding a staff on one hand and something glowing on the other , with a halo hovering above its head while the other is a person dressed in what resembles a lab coat with a book in one hand and a pointing stick pointing towards a board next to it , donning an academic hat .

Libra : During the time , I had discovered that humanity had became less inclined in believing that odd phenomenons that happened throughout the times when mankind first step foot on earth to be inexplainable , that and it had ties to spiritual and extraterrestrial beliefs . What humanity strife for , depend on and believed in are not the preachings from others perceived to be the wise , all-knowing and a representative of an ethereal , omnipotent figure symbol .... but grounded theories , research , studies and most importantly , proven facts .

A single scene depicting a massive and violent riot occurring throughout the streets , with burning houses of smashed windows and doors being vandalized and looted by unruly civilians , equipped with household tools like brooms to lethal weapons like clubs and machetes with a number of bloody brawls happening right before and around what seemed to be a female figure dressed in commoners clothes indistinguishable from others standing atop one of the many roofs of a affected buildings .

Libra : I went down to learn about all of the changes that occurred since my last time I was among them , only to be shocked of the chaos and carnage that had happened right before my very own eyes . Violence , destruction and death between two warring factions , one chanting heretical slanders towards the other party donned in masks and hoods all to familiar to me . I had to halt all activities and invitations for the sake of the sanctum's safety and secrecy , fear that it had to do with us ... and remained dormant until now .

Alinna : "Heretical slanders" ... masks and hoods ... the Cult Calamity of 1877 .

Ron , Libra and Atramille : "The Cult Calamity of 1877" ?

Alinna : *Sighs* ... not surprising that you don't know of this , Ron . High school history , 5th grade . It's being taught as a lesson on the dark side of radical beliefs had globally , though I believe it's not all the story though . Now , I'm more sure than ever after hearing from you about this , not some fake tales for the sake of pushing some sort of moral values . Looks like I'm going to bury myself under a mountain of books for a good amount of time ...

Libra : While you're onto it , are you willing to grant us another request ?

Alinna (Annoyed) : Again ... you keep askin-

*Knocking on the front door in the middle of a conversation*

??? : Ron , Joshy bro brought you extra meals !

Ron : Ah , Joshu-

Alinna (Resolute) : Request granted ! Deal with him quick ! He MUST NOT know of all of this !

Upon hearing the swift approval from Alinna , Libra gave the sky blue-haired lady a nudge of action , prompting her into pulling out a pouch stashed within her clothes and made her way towards the door at speed .

Joshua : Alinna ? Is that you ? What are *door opens before him and gets hit on the face by a pouch bursting out an unknown powdery substance* youuourgh ... *collapses flat on the ground , sound asleep*

Ron : *Checks on Joshua before looking towards the sky blue-haired lady* ... why do you have that with you ?

Sky blue-haired lady : ... protection .

Ron (Thought) : *Drags Joshua into his bedroom* Glad I didn't do anything that might prompt her into handing me the same fate as Joshua ...

Atramille : May I know why you do not wish for Joshua to know of what is happening here ?

Alinna (Pale) : You've got the wrong idea . It's not that , it's your very existence that might turn him on ...

Atramille : I don't understand ...

Alinna : Nevermind . Crisis averted for now . What is your request ?

Libra : Retrieve their lost identity .

Alinna (Disappointed) : ... hhhuuuh . (That ? I was going to do that as well along with researching on the Cult Calamity of 1877 ...)

Atramille : Are you disappointed , Alinna ?

Alinna : Stop reading my soul . Anyways , I need to go now . Ron , remember to dump him out while he's still out cold . He must not know of the new faces or there'll be more trouble for you . *Exits the scene*

Ron (Startled) : W-wait , how could I- !

Sky blue-haired lady : Mother ... your hands ...

Libra : *Lifts her hand in front of view , revealing its transparency that allows the view of what's behind her hands* Ah , I must depart immediately . *Smiles* Ron , I'll leave them in your care . I wish for a proper recovery for your wounded soul *walks out of the scene as well* .

Ron (Panic) : W-wait ! I did not ag- !

And so the two spokesperson left the building , leaving Ron to bear the burdensome tasks he was entrusted to fulfill , much to his disagreement that goes unheeded , causing his soul to escape slowly out from his battered body , mentally and physically . Aside from Illysses and Elshtine who kept to themselves exchanging words with each other , the rest watches his slow but ever degradation of color slowly muting before them , confused as ever over whatever that had happened within the last minutes of the meeting .

Manga page count : 22-24
Online proofreading count : 0

11
Develop Your Story / "La Sanctum" Club Discussion Thread
« on: January 21, 2019, 07:34:39 AM »
All discussions, talks and feedbacks goes here. Let's keep the story thread as it is and not stack them with regular posts.

My long contemplation on where to put this thread and what to post in conjunction to the creation to this thread is what it took so long to start this thread. So, here it is ...

I had plans on starting a secondary story but I'm on the fence as to which to start. I'll post brief summaries here later on.

12
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club (18+)
« on: January 21, 2019, 07:06:12 AM »
Chapter 21 : Reunion

Spoiler
In a dimly lit bedroom covered in dust , moss , webbing and vines , with its interior structure and furniture showing signs of decay and potential structural failure from the effects of mother nature , Ron is seen by the bed , recently being dusted off and interacted with by him , standing by the bed lit by the only light source coming from the broken window  opposite of it with a book held close to his chest seemingly had an emotional breakdown as signs of tear can be seen carved right down a thin layer of dust and webbing collected onto him . Alinna , Atramille and Danny is seen watching in silence behind him , partially covered in dust and webbing as well .

Atramille : *Looked at Alinna with an intent of her approval , given a go sign* ... Ron ? *Pauses for a moment* ... Ron ? Are you okay ?

Ron : *Shakes head and wiped off tears from his face* ... ummhh ... yeah , I'm fine . Sorry about it ... I just ...

Danny : Don't sweat it , Ronny boy . Take all the time you need . We'd be fine just watching your back , ya know *grins* ?

Ron : *Light and brief laughter* ... thanks ... but I'm done here . We'd better leave here before this entire house caves onto us .

Alinna : Totally agree .

And they cautiously make their way out of the house . While they're at it , they had a brief conversation with Ron .

Atramille : Ron , may I know why you came to this place for the book in hand ?

Ron : ... it was the last good memory I had with my little sister that I myself had nearly forgotten . That letter I read and that one picture attached to it while I was back in her house ... I'm ever so grateful and glad that it reminded me of that one promise I had made ... it pains me to know that it's the only thing I can remember . *Despondent* How awful of me ...

Atramille : Please do not blame yourself for what had happened that is out of your own control .

Ron : ... yeah , sorry . I shouldn't be lamenting on about the past .

Alinna : So , what are you going to do with it ?

Ron : *Gazes up towards the sky and ponders for a moment before putting on a bittersweet smile while clenches firmly onto the book in hand* ... I'm going to fulfill that promise together for one last time .

Alinna : *Sighs* ... such a devoted brother you are .

Ron (Confused) : Am I ?

Alinna (Annoyed) : Stop being so negative , will you ?

As they're having a lighthearted conversation all the way to their transport , a short-haired , middle-aged lady in a flower-patterned , elderly-looking , one-piece dress with a red cloth belt tied around the waist and a sunny hat on her head is seen approaching them from the roadside with a piece of paper in hand .[/font]

Short-haired lady : What brings you here , young ones ?

Alinna : Ah , we're here to retrieve my friend's belonging that was left behind . He said that he used to live here with his little sister .

Short-haired lady : Oh ? Someone who used to live with late miss Gail ? *A brief browsing on the people around Alinna before pausing at Ron* ... you must be Ron , am I right ?

Ron : How do you know my name ? Who are you ?

Short-haired lady : Oh , can't recognize me behind my flabby feature ? It's aunt Frisse , miss Gail's neighbor friend .

Ron (Confused) : Aunt ... Frisse ?

Atramille : Before any misunderstanding were to happen , Ron isn't being rude for not remembering you , made- ... aunt Frisse . He's been hav-

Frisse : *Puts up a hand and nods* I understand .

Alinna : Huh ? How ? We haven-

Frisse : Layla ... she knew about his papa's problems all along . She told it all to me ... lamentingly . She gave me this ...

Frisse offered them folded piece of paper and upon unfolding it , it reveals to be a drawing , with names written on top of each stick figures with distinctive but otherwise abstract and simple features and expression that differs between individuals . The stick figure of aunt Gail with a halo on top of her head , having a dimpled smile , an abstract depiction of an elderly wrinkles on the forehead , signature silver-white hair bun holding onto a walking stick is drawn on the far left , next to a stick figure of Layla herself with a large smile and an out-of-place , sad-looking eyes . She is seen holding the hands of a stick figure of a faceless Ron with a bracketed question mark next to his name . The space where the face should be drawn on showed signs of excessive erasing , with the paper within it is rough and unusually thin . On the far right end on the drawing is a stick figure of Frisse , having an abstract short bob hair and a smiling face . They were drawn with a background of what seemed to be the front yard of the house where they lived in , the same kind of house seen in the picture and the very house they're currently at , with Frisse is drawn just outside the property behind the shrubbery fencing . As they're in the middle of previewing it , Alinna's expression turned dark as if she might've discovered an uneasy meaning behind the drawing .

Alinna : Miss Frisse ...

Frisse : *Nods in disappointment* She tried to reach out to his papa many times but is just too afraid to do so .

Alinna : *Deep sigh* ... I see .

Frisse : *Had her displeased gaze towards Ron* ... where were you ? Where was papa she wept for all those years ?

Ron (Sad) : I ...

Danny : Ma'am , please calm down there . We can understand your disappointment over Ron . Right now he's jus-

Frisse : *Raises hand once more* I told you already , I already know all of it . Layla passed away , right ? I got that news from a frustrated nurse from Feuller General Hospital looking for him .

Danny : That nurse , huh ? (Mad respect for her unwavering determination at locating Ronny ...)

Alinna : Why are you displeased over his actions ?

Frisse : Young lady , how long have you known Layla for ? Ever wonder why did she entrusted me with that drawing of hers instead of offering it to her papa directly ?

Alinna : *Speechless , unable to answer* Urk ...

Frisse : *Sighs* I'm just glad that he came back . That's what all of us who were part in your life then had wished for , especially her before she suddenly disappeared along with him . She begged for it ...

Ron (Despondent) : *Lowers head* ... sorry .

Frisse : *Sighs once more* Don't cry over spilled milk . The past is the past ... it's time to move on , assuming that you've done paying proper respect of her passing . So , where is her resting ground at ? I'd like to pay my condolences and respect as well .

Ron (Pale) : *Breaking out cold sweat* Uh ... umm ...

Frisse (Angry) : You don't say ... *walked towards him lectures close to his face* Just what are you doing right here right now ?! This is what got her worried so much to the point of affecting her health ! Just how far your mind had wandered off to ?!

Danny (Frantic) : Ma'am , please ! You got to understand that he was sufferin-

Frisse : That is EXACTLY what got her worried sick ! *Sighs and relaxes* Just what were you up to go through such length to the point of suicidal ?

Alinna (Thought) : I've been trying to know why myself as well ...

Ron (Solemn) : ... I'm sorry ...

Alinna : *Sigh* Don't be . Let get it done now , shall we ? Do you have money for the process ... of ... *notices Ron turning pale and breaking sweat once more* ... retrieval . Let me guess ... you've got no money , right ?

Ron : *Nods in acknowledgement , feeling heavy* ...

Alinna : *Sigh once more , acknowledging his unluckiness* ... I'll shoulder the cost and transportation as well .

Ron : Bu-

Danny : *Places hand onto Ron's shoulder , stopping him* Just accept it , Ronny boy . You don't want to know the amount of money needed to do pull all of that ...

Ron : Umm ... uh . But I don't know of any cemeteries I can bury her in at ...

Frisse : I know just the right place for her . Mister , would you mind taking us there ?

With the directions to an unknown location given to Danny by Frisse , they all began their journey further into the countryside , passing by scenic views of the fields of fetch reeds and farmlands and untouched hills and the clear afternoon sunshine and sky for stunning background , eventually arriving to what looked like a large fields of grass and variety of flowers , coloring the area a beautiful rainbow with several trees dots the area . Upon closer view , gravestones jots out everywhere within the field , only visible after the grassy field bows to the force of the breezy winds that flows throughout the countryside . Frisse guides Ron and his companions through the field and uphill towards one of the few high grounds to end in front of a gravestone in front of a flowering tree , with its yellow-white flower occasionally falling down from it , blanketing the surrounding area and onto the grave itself . Frisse crouched in front of the gravestone , with a handkerchief in hand , wiping the gravestone with it and revealing a name engraved into it , "In loving memory of Gail Monterressa , May 2022 - June 2112 ..." .

Frisse : Gail , guess who I've brought along with me now ... *waves Ron to come next to her* come , Ron . Time for you to greet her for your return from your long life journey .

Ron kneels before the grave of Gail , with a solemn and sombre expression and gaze , he greets her in silence . Not to interrupt the moment , everyone else backed a good distance away from him , allowing him a moment of solitude with someone Frisse claimed to be close to him and his late little sister , Layla .

Alinna : Miss Frisse ... do you intend to bury her here ? Why though ?

Frisse : *Nods* Like she sees Ron as his papa , Gail is like mama to her . It's only right for her to be in her eternal company in the afterlife , don't you think ? It was meant for her husband but I don't think she'd mind it .

Alinna : I do mind though .

Frisse : Her husband's body was never found during the last siege into the terrorist's stronghold many years ago . She herself told me and that she don't mind it if it was someone else other than her husband , as long as it was someone she holds dear and close to her . Don't worry , the plot's being paid for already .

Alinna : Still , is Gail their mother ? Or ...

Ron : *Apporaches them from the back* We're both parentless .

Alinna : Parentless ?

Ron : *Offered them a letter written by his little sister to be read* You can read it to get her side of our life . I'll do my best to tell my side with what memory I have .

And they spent most of their afternoon reading the letter given by Ron in order to understand his life better while he sat himself not far from them on a rock looking towards the sky deep in thought .

Danny : *Wept like a baby , rubbing away tears in a widespread manner* Ronny ... my boy ... such is your life . So ... so much hardships !

Atramille : I wholeheartedly agree with your pained and sorrow-filled inner feelings . The bloodstained letter ... it's filled with such feelings ...

Alinna : Please don't fling your "sadness" onto me . I had enough of it ...

Ron : *Light smile* Eheheh .

Alinna : Still , why didn't you tell any of us about all of these ? Just by the content of the letter , I'm getting butterflies in my stomach .

Ron : I don't know why myself ... but it sounds like my little sister still remembers all of it . But then again , it's too late to ask her now , huh ...

Alinna : *Sigh* Nevermind . At the very least , you're now back on terra firma , albeit being brought back in a rather "crude" manner and not without going through many , many brutal bumps .

Atramille : My deepest apologies for what we might've done that caused you much trouble , miss Alinna .

Alinna : I'm not mocking your methods . It's the opposite ... though I wished that there were a less "crude" manner and not having to ride the pain train to get the similar results .

Ron : ... *bows with full sincerity and gratefulness* Once again , I thank you-

Alinna (Annoyed) : *Groans from frustration* Not again ... . Just how many times are you going to keep thanking us for bringing back your true self ? We get it ! Stop it or it'll rub off on everyone as very insincere and disingenuous !

Atramille : *Stern tone* I agree . The time to rediscover yourself begins right now and we're all here to help you with that . Kindly make use of our lending hands in order to achieve that , Ron .

Ron : *Shriveled from being lectured* Eep ! O-okay , I won't do it again !

After a brief but sound lecture , they pay Gail one final respect before returning back to the urban to settle with Layla's burial process .

Danny : ... you know , supporting someone morally is one thing , financially is another thing . I just hope that's all the amount you've got to deal with in life before you can make progress , Ronny boy .

Ron : ... oh .

The scene switches from where they were to the front door of Ron's house in Preogina at night , with dozens of boxes stacked in front of the doorway , blocking access into it , being lit by a single porch light . A notice is seen tacked onto the surface of one the boxes facing towards them . Their positions where they stood when they were before remained unchanged aside from Frisse which is missing , presumably having returned back to her home , being replaced with Joshua who just so happen to be by his house when they arrived .

Ron : *Feeling defeated* Outstanding back-payments and its being rented out already ... I was too late .

Alinna : Well jinxed , mister .

Danny : *Droops head , presses both pointing fingers on and off out of embarrassment and guilt* Ehehehe ... sowwy ...

Atramille : Is it possible to settle in at that very house we had been to not long ago for a time being ? I'm capable enough to prepare a room for Ron to settle in before the moonfall .

Alinna : Are you nuts ? Rebuilding it anew is one thing , repurchasing it is another . Didn't you read the sign in front of the house ?

Atramille : *Bows* (I have much to learn about this world ...) My apologies .

Alinna : *Scratches head , contemplating while letting out a deep sigh* ... you can stay in my house for the time being .

Joshua : Oh ho ~ ? Is this perhaps ... a cohabitation-in-the-making ?

Ron (Panic) : Eh ?! B-b-b-but I can't do that !

Alinna : Shut it , Perv-O-Donna ! You intend to live on the streets once more ? Just accept it , Ron . I won't charge you for rental fee and whatnot .

Ron (Flustered) : B-b-b-but w-wh-what if y-y-y-y-you and I-I-

Joshua (Whimsical) : ... how envious .

Alinna : *Blushes slightly* It's a mansion , for crying out loud ! *Points at the door of the house Ron used to resides in* One of these is like one of the many rooms in my house ! That and the servants of mine makes it impossible for any "unfortunate" encounters to happen !

Joshua : Oh , how worked up you are about it . PerhawuggGGH ! *Gets strangled by Alinna*

Alinna (Mad) : Don't jinx it any further ...

Atramille : Is the residing of Ron in your mansion a permanent one ?

Alinna : Of course not . He'll stay until he gets his own house to stay in and take you with him . (You and your "sisters" still gives me shivers ...)

Danny : Don't you think it's rather difficult to find one in the first place , especially something similar to this one ?

Alinna : My servants and influence will come in handy in that matter . So , leave your belongings here . I had already contacted them to come and transport them all to your temporary shelter . Let's go back and take much needed rest . I'm beat from all that happened in the last month or so ...

Ron : U-umm ...

Their stress-filled , emotional day ends with their trip to Alinna's house to rest up for the day , but it's a new day for Ron as he begins a new life's journey , no longer bound to taboos of people and events of the past . With the newfound insight , clarity and viewpoint , his view of the world around him changes dramatically , with what seemed to be uninteresting , everyday scenes of the metropolitan city of Dushlam under the veil of the night for his past self intrigues him as if it was his very first time seeing them up close behind the seat of the cab , turning him into a child filled with curiosity and enthusiasm , his eyes gleams to the sight of the surroundings , drooling to every sight that is interesting to him , all the way to the destination . Even the house Alinna owns got him into a state awe , despite being there before .

Alinna : *Smiles and sighs* You're creeping me out , Ron .

Danny : Ahahaha ! If you don't have children yourself , you won't understand a child's way of expression .

Alinna : Ron , tell that butler by the door to guide you to a vacant room for you and her to stay in .

Ron : A-ah , okay ! *Ran off in full spirit , with Atramille trailing behind*

Joshua : *Grins* Looks like part of the Ron we knew back then is back .

Alinna : *In the middle of settling her cab fare wit Danny* You might be right ... on initial thought though .

Joshua : Hmm ? Something else I didn't know of ?

Alinna : *Watches over Ron's interaction with her butler for a moment* His past life ... most that he hid from the world .

Scenes of each characters in the story . The first is of Ron filling the entire room with his inner child's enthusiasm and happiness as he admired and interacted with everything that he had ever done so in the past when he was there while being watched over by Atramille , followed by when he is accompanied by Alinna seated by a desk being attended to by a clerk seemingly in the middle of a discussion , with a catalogue book of variety of houses for rent placed in front of them , along with various pictures and papers tagged onto a board and stacks of files behind the clerk . The third takes place in the middle of a living room of a vacant apartment with Ron is seen looking around , gauging and processing the apartment while being accompanied by Atramille , Alinna and a real estate agent . The next is of the same place but focuses on a newly-placed desk with a front view of Ron browsing through brochures and pamphlets with a serious expression with Atramille seated next to him with a curious expression , surrounded by stacks of boxes in the background . The fifth scene is that of Ron alone walking with heavy shoulders among the crowds in the middle of the bustling streets and office buildings of Dushlam during the peak office hour where Ron is seen in a desperate need of getting accepted in the jobs he applied on multiple occasions . The scene finalizes with Ron again alone seated on a stool with a book on his lap in front of the grave of Gail , with a new gravestone being erected next to it in front of a recently dug soil with the engravings , "Layla , Miss Gail Monterressa beloved little sunshine , Ron's little angel , be blessed by the grace of the heavens , 2104 - 2123 ."

"Layla , it's me , your papa Ron ... or not . I have accepted the fact that you're old enough to act maturely . But me ... I felt like I've lost myself . I can tell , I felt it ever since ... that sense of desperation and need to relive my childhood self . You were right ... what you said in the letter , the feelings you had ... the projections you've felt , all the while . Thanks to the letter , I've realized how far lost and gone I am with life , so far to the point that I made you lost any sort of will to live on . I know it's too late to be by your side , to say that I'm sorry for all that I had done and make amends by spending what little time you had in life , but your last wish for me ... I will fulfill it for you . I'll finish that story where we left off ...

Months passed by after hearing the news of your passing ... a very "too late" news . I've grieved and lamented enough but deep inside , it yearns for more . If it weren't for the friends I had that I had forsaken all these years , I would've kept on and it feels no different than death itself . I now look up to them ... they never gave up on me and kept reaching out for me as I kept walking down the path into the void . And for that , especially for you , I will now fight for myself , strive for a better , new me , free from the chains of the past .

They saw a change in me , the better me ... the actual me that I was blinded to myself , they nurtured that side of me with all they could give . A new home , means to live another day , guidance , shoulders where I could lean on whenever I need rest and comfort ... things we're both deprived of for so long , such selfless act of kindness once thought as a curse that wrought us such accursed life . Upon my liberation from all that had bound me into an endless but ever shrinking loop under a shell , with every act , it threatens me into tears ... tears of happiness and gratefulness .

But they also told me that such grace won't last forever . Eventually , I must walk on my own two feet . I can understand ... I learnt it the hard way . Before , I don't have the answers to all of those questions that rises the moment I lost the supports that held us up and it had driven me into fear , fear that I might do something wrong that will doom the both of us . Answers came to me in a most unlikely and unexplainable way ... but answers they were nonetheless , I felt like a beam of light had lit up the path that I could not see before , I walk down that very path .

It never got to a good start . Not surprising to me since we've gone through it , haven't we ? Driven to live for another day by a single false promise , I learn that the sense of falsehood must end . It had lived long enough to offer what little hope , now it became a bane , constantly reminding me of the consequences of betraying it . I'm being blessed with a newfound mean of continuing on this unforgiving journey without you by my side anymore because now ... I had friends and I now am able to truly understand and treasure them just as much as I've treasured you all the while .

Aunt Gail , papa and of course , my dearest little sister Layla ... thank you for being there all the while .

... farewell ."


Ron : *Closes book in hand and letting out a sigh of relief* ... the end . Finally ... managed to finish this storytime with you . Promise fulfilled ... *bittersweet smile* too late for that , huh ? I know , I know ... time for me to go . *Walked away* Got to attend to a job interview . *Turned around with a cheerful smile before running off* Wish me luck ... !

Manga page count : 22-24
Proofreading/correction count : 0

13
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club (18+)
« on: December 19, 2018, 01:27:12 PM »
Chapter 20 : Reborn

Spoiler
Daylight break of the morning , in the same room where Ron and Atramille is , where he is seen sleeping onto her lap face down , basked under the light of a new day .

Ron (Thought) : ... ummhh ... this smells fragrant ... and firm ?

Atramille : How is your rest , Ron ?

Ron : Hummh ? Atramille ? ... !!! *Removes his head off from her lap and away from her upon realization* (Why am I-) I slept again ?

Atramille : Not counting the time when you've drained your strength to the point of sleeping , you've only slept once ... or does the former counts as you sleeping ?

Ron (Flustered) : *Scratches head* (So was the time with that mysterious lady a dream ?) No , nevermind  ... how did I-

Atramille : *Taps onto her lap and on one of her shoulder close to her chest , indicating where he slept on all the while* You cried yourself into slumber . Was my service satisfactory to you , Ron ?

Ron : *Flushed red* (I-I-I w-w-was o-o-on ...) I-i-it was fine . T-th-thanks ...

Atramille : But your stutterings dictates something else .

Ron : N-n-no , not that ! Not anything at all ! It's ... *deep sigh* it's just that ... I've lost my only motivation and will in life so I'm feeling very empty and lost within . I ... I just don't know how to continue on living for my little sister's wish , I'm too inexperienced and immature in life . How am I going to do this ... or where do I begin at all ? All by myself ... ? I just ... it feels no different than death itself .  I ... I ... *clenches fist , trembling in fear*

Atramille : *Held onto one of his hand with both of hers* "You needed someone to be the new pillars that will support you on ." ... that's what I had in mind when I read your little sister's last wish I had unearthed during the search .

Ron : Wait , what ? I don't understand ... what are you talking about ... *pressed head with both hands in confusion , groans in pain* ...mmfhh ...

Atramille : *Grabbed hold of both of his hands and placed it down onto his legs in a gentle manner* Who I am before and what role I had in your past is of no importance and a thing of the past . I'm well aware of your needs in gaining back part of your past self back to fill in the holes in your heart but I insist that you do not seek your past in your current state of mind and health .

Ron : ... then just how am I going move forward then ? I've got nothing in life right now that motivates me to live on ...

??? : All you have to do first is to just take your first step .

Ron : *Turns his focus towards the source of an unknown voice* ... who- ... Alinna ?

Alinna : *Sighs and made her way from the doorway to the room towards Ron* At the very least you knew of me . That's a start ...

Ron (Confused) : Why are you here ... *looked around the room* ... where am I ?

Alinna : You're in my house . As for the rest of the detail , you will ... or should I say it's only a matter of time before the past would come back and fill back up that void ... soon , eventually . Until then , take her advice . I'm not looking forward to another breakdown from you ...

Ron : U-umm ... still , I don't understand . What do you mean by what you said before ?

Alinna : Hurmm ... hard to explain . I only know based on experience ...

Ron : Experience ?

Alinna : You probably don't have any memory of that time for reasons , so I'll bring it up again for clarification purpose . I was in your position before ...

Ron : You ... were ?

Alinna : Well , sort of . Can't tell if he's still alive or not ... he , as in my big brother .

Ron : What happened to him ?

Alinna : He just vanished . Never return ever since . This was his house before I snatched it away from my parents attempt at selling it away in a hurry ... and for good reasons . His belongings are still here , all of it , signs that he was ousted out of the family and into the world he had to now face with only his bare fist ...

Ron : What's that had in common to-

Alinna : He's the closest person I've ever had to being my father ...

Several scenes of Alinna's past life . The first one of her in front of a crowd , all in black silhouettes at the foreground of the scene seemingly discussing something as they're being watch in silent by her , expressionless . The following scenes are of when a certain guy with a scruffy-looking short hair , donned in a plain white t-shirt and a pair of jeans barged into the scene seemingly infuriated as he lashed out in front of the crowd and thus an argument happened with her watching it unaffected .

Alinna : ... being the youngest daughter of a family of white-collars , business and management of a successful company and investments are the only thing I'm exposed to during my time when I was still a little girl ... how I had to keep a top grade , picking up industry know-hows from adults I don't know of , keeping a professional and formal mind and posture in everything in front of everyone while putting a permanent seal on all of my personal interests and emotions that might cast even a slightest doubt or contradictions ... all of that for the sake and honor of the family name and pride . These burden got thrown onto me for no good reason ... all because the only son in the family , my big brother , didn't live up to their expectations . Free-spirited , rebellious , dreamer and a child-at-heart , he despise the suffocating world of business , filled with formality , code of conduct and technicalities , he rejected the family's will in taking over their throne of their businesses in favor of life free from any restrictions and boundaries , freedom to choose his own path ...

Ron : ... path ...

Alinna : *Notices Ron deep in thought* Have I struck the right chord there ?

Ron : You ... did . I ... I often reminded myself of that ... my path ...

Alinna : *Sigh* ... figures . My intuition was right then .

Ron : Huh ? What do you mean by that ?

Alinna : Do you still remember your last job ?

Ron : *Serious expression as he digs into his mind* ... Hoff's Advertising Agency ...

Alinna : Why did you decide to work there in the first place ?

Ron : ... I ... I ... needed money ...

Alinna : Let me rephrase that . What had driven you , a high-schooler at that time , into taking up a job meant for adults ?

Ron : *Places one hand on forehead having a strained expression , struggling to answer* ... to ensure happiness ... but I don't understand ...

Alinna : *Lifts hand up , preventing Ron from breaking down once more* That's all I need to know . If it had to do with the path you've chosen , clearly it wasn't yours to begin with . Or else , your goals , your motivation and most importantly , the sacrifices you're willing to make would've been crystal clear to you even before you started working in that company at that age . *Looked towards the ceiling , deep in thought* That's what my big brother understood ... that's what he taught me , "Live a life of a child of your age . Live it to the fullest of heart , or you'll regret not having such life and forever living on having such feeling of emptiness of self ... forever unhappy and unsatisfied ." . Such is life ...

Atramille : You looked troubled , mademoiselle Alinna .

Alinna : *Frowns* Don't try prodding into my private life now ...

Ron : Still ... still , Layla ...

Alinna (Unhappy) : Look , I understand that the loss of the only person in life is too mortifying for you to take in and you can't help but to mourn and drown yourself into a deep state of sorrow . However , you'd better not lament about it for too long .

Ron : But-

Alinna : *Lifts one of his hands in front of his eyes out of the cover of the blanket , revealing the emaciated physique of his own body* This is a reminder to that , should you keep up with that . People close to you can't help but to feel hurt just by the sight of it , especially your own little sister .

Ron (Pale & Sombre) : ... I ...

Several solo shots of each character and where they are and currently doing being mentioned by Alinna .

Alinna : Got it ? It's the reason why I brought you to meet up with that group and the reason we're here for ! Me , your personal "chauffeur" Danny downstairs (What a loud sleeper ...) , Joshua who can't be here due to work but was here not long ago ... *looked towards Atramille* ... and most importantly , the people responsible in blessing you a second life . If it weren't for them , heaven knows how devastated she might've felt if she knew how your life ended then ...

Ron : *Lowers head* ... I'm very sorry .

Atramille : The best kind of apology for this is to accept the hands of everyone else who had been by your side all the while .

Ron : What hands ?

Alinna (Annoyed) : *Pinches both cheeks , stretching them out* THESE hands . You still got us , so stop being a hermit . And most importantly ... *Pulls him closer to her face* DON'T you DARE having even a thought of ending your life . EVER ! Got me ?

Ron : Owwowow !!! I gofh eet !!!

Alinna : *Releases her grip off his face* Good ! Now that's settled ... *smiles while letting out a sigh of relief* ... welcome back , Ron .

Ron : *Smiles with a child-like expression* U-umm ... thanks .

Atramille : *Raises hand* I would like to announce something on my end as well .

Alinna : Huh ? What is it ?

Morning chirps of birds ... a silent and peaceful atmosphere around the mansion was soon rocked by a sudden screams of disbelief from both Alinna and Ron , shocking the surrounding bird away from fear and causing the building and the trees and shrubs around to tremble from the intensity .

Alinna : Are YOU f***ing kidding me right now ?! You're planning to-

Atramille : Yes . From this day onward , I , Atramille de Surquouis , shall serve by Ron's side until he's deemed satisfied . *Got up and gave a graceful curtsy and bow in front of Ron and Alinna* I hope that you'll find my service up to your satisfaction ... Comte Ron .

Ron (Flustered) : Bu-bu-but I don't understand all of this ! Just why though ... ? I'm happy that I'm already seeing a new light in life !

??? : I beg to concur .

Alinna : *Turns around , discovering someone standing by the doorway* Libra ?! Wha-

Libra : It was her suggestion and I believe it's beneficial for both parties ... so I gave her the permission .

Ron (Confused) : Li ... bra ? But you don-

Libra : *Makes her way next to Atramille* "Look like her" ? It's understandable . This is just a vessel to house the me you knew back in the sanctum . Otherwise , I simply can't exist in your world .

Alinna : You still don't make any sense to me and you still refuse to explain it ...

Libra : Some things are best left unexplained . As for your confusion , Ron , I shall explain . *Pulls out a golden card* To put it simple , this .

Ron : Golden ... card ? Seems familiar ...

Libra : Indeed and it just so happened to be yours .

Ron (Confused) : Mine ???

Atramille : *Whispers next to Libra's ear* I'm sorry to say this , mother , but as of currently his mind is too shaken and wounded to recall anything from the past . There's a good possibility that he may not remember anything for an undetermined time .

Libra : *Whispers* I see ...

Alinna (Aggravated) : A-HEM !!! May I know what more "secrets" you're planning to hide from me ? I thought that we're clear about not doing so .

Libra : It's understandable that you seek truth and answers behind the reasons and purposes of our presence and our activities around you and Ron but now is not the right time to get into exposition . I promise you that when the time comes , I'll grant your wish .

Alinna : What ? Why can't you even just give a hint or word of it ? Why not now ?

Libra : It's not that I don't want to , but condensing two hundred years of history and background information about us would be nigh impossible to do right now .

Alinna (Shocked) : Oh , you've established yourself for two hun- ... WHAT ?!!!

Libra : Your shock to learn of this minute fragment of us comes at no surprise to me ... but I hope that would be sufficient enough to put aside this matter and not talk about it for now .

Alinna (Befuddled) : ("Two hundred plus years" is only a "minute fragment" of your "activity history" ?!) ... fine .

Libra : Many thanks . Allow me to re-introduce to you both about this card in much digestible form . *Placed card on the bed* This is a form of invitation , allowing entrance into our sanctum where you'll receive appropriate service from one of our capable sisters . Once you've completed it and returned back to your world , this will cease to exist .

Alinna : Then why is it still here ?

Libra : That's a good question and the very reason why we're here , in your world . Initial thought suggest that the issue lies within Ron himself but it was at best an assumption based upon the findings Atramille had discovered within Ron with her 'gift' . I placed my faith in her judgement and let her deal with the issue down in your world in my stead .

Alinna : Well , something went wrong to the point that you drove him raging insane ...

Atramille : I apologize for what I might have done to cause him much-

Ron : N-n-no , don't be ! It- ... it is I who should be apologizing , eventhough I still do not know what I might've done that time . *Ponders for a moment* If anything , rather than apologizing ... *bowed in his bed at Atramille and Libra* ... uh , thank you ... for whatever you've done so far ... ?

Alinna (Shocked) : Heh ?! You're thanking them ? What for ? For triggering your mental breakdown ?

Ron : *Scratches cheek* It's- ... I don't know . It's just that my heart tells me to be thankful to them .

Alinna : Well , if you say so ... still ... *gazes towards the card placed on the bed in front of Ron with an uneasy expression*

Libra : That's where I draw upon another probable theory or two . It could be the problem lies on our end ...

Alinna : *Points finger at Libra in an accusative manner* There ! I told you it was yo-

Libra : *Stops Alinna's conversation with a raise of her palm at her* It could also be possible that Ron desires more than what that card , your unspoken inner will and desire , had shown us .

Ron : My ... inner will and desire ?

Atramille : You desire "Comfort and happiness" .

Alinna : That's ... awfully vague .

Libra : Indeed ... same can be said for millions of other recipients we have invited .

Alinna (Shocked) : Millions ?! Then why Ron , of all people ?!

Libra : That I do not know of , which is why I allowed one of my sister to stay by his side to continue on at breaking this enigma since she has been doing a good job with the last task . While I shall make my return back to the sanctum and seal the gateway to ensure that no more of souls like Ron will happen again and maybe ... just maybe , you won't wake up back there ever again .

Ron : Are you telling me ... as long as the card still exist , I might ...

Libra : *Nods and frowns from uneasiness* ... let's pray it doesn't happen anymore .

Atramille : *Looked around as everyone is silent and then looked towards Ron , who is deep in thought as he had his attention on the card , having a fearful but serious expression* ... I'm awaiting for your answer , Conte Ron .

Ron : *Startled by her request* A-a-ah , right ! ... right . I ... I guess I do need to lean on you all for support , especially on you too ... okay . But ...

Atramille : You have something in mind , Conte Ron ?

Ron : First off , drop that 'Conte' or whatever it is ... feels out of place to me .

Alinna : Agreed . What's with 'Mademoiselle' and 'Monsieur' honorifics ?

Atramille : Understood . I shall not use such honorifics . But how am I going to address you as ?

Ron : Just by my name , like everyone else too ...

As he repositions himself in his bed , he felt something tucked under his bed , prompting him into pulling it out . In his hand , several pieces of paper with a picture attached to it , materials collected during the search for clues for his problems by Atramille and the others , piqued his interest as he began browsing them in silence .

Ron : ... there's something else I 'felt' like I must do as well ...

The scene of a sunny afternoon sky slowly pans down to reveal what looked to be an abandoned , severely dilapidated , wooden-plaster single-storey bungalow with the roofing of an opened garage next to it warped and on the brink of collapsing , covered in dust , webbing and moss barely visible behind thick and tall grass that seemed to have overgrown over what looked to be shrubbery with a few blossoming flowers on them . Alinna , Atramille , Ron and Danny is seen standing outside in-between a mailbox filled with uncollected letters , mails and newspapers and a washed-out sign that reads "For sale" .

Danny : Well , here we are , Ronny boy ! Wow , mother nature's about to finish its job to this house . How savage ...

Ron : ... howdy , homie ...

Alinna : ("howdy homie" ?) *Sighs* It was a real struggle , locating this place with no leads other than that one picture in hand .

Danny : Lucky that as a cab driver , I had comrades that had trips to this place . Still this place is soOOoo faaAAar away from your shabby house in Preogina ... *sigh* ... damn ...

Atramille : Ron , may I know the reason in returning to this place ?

Oblivious to Atramille's inquiries , Ron slowly waded through the tall grass towards the rotting front door of the house . Curious as to what is Ron up to , the rest soon followed behind him as he opens the door with a loud , squeaking and creaking sound . Inside , dusts and webbing , with some parts thicker and denser , carpets the entire household objects and furnitures , walls , ceiling and floor , began kicking up from the light breeze entering from the opened door , causing Alinna and her companions to cover their face to avoid inhaling them directly . Ron , unfazed by the cloud of dusts , cautiously wanders around the house as if he is trying to find something , with each footsteps he took on the wooden flooring creaks and strains as if it's rearing to break . He eventually wanders into what seemed to be a bedroom which had the same fate as the other rooms , thus identifying certain objects within it is difficult without removing the thick layer of dust on them . He walked towards what vaguely looked like a bed , dimly lit by the only broken window of the room coated in vines , moss and dust and carefully removed the dust collected on top of it , revealing a moth-eaten blanket with what looked to be dried up small droplets of blood stains the top , causing Alinna and Danny to react in a horrified manner .

Alinna : Ron ... that bloodstain . C-could it be ...

And once more , Ron did not respond to Alinna's inquiries as he resumes dusting off the remaining dusts on the surface of the bed . An unusual bulge appeared near the edge of the moth-eaten blanket after the dusts around it clears away . Careful as to not kick up more dusts , he lifted up the part where the dent is to reveal what looked to be an old-fashioned book with a large golden title in front of it - "The Golden Pass To Utopia" , seemingly in good condition despite its worn-out looks , preserved and sheltered from the wrath of the natural environments . He gently picked it up , spent some time looking at it with a forlorn expression and eventually held the book tight and close to his chest with tears soon began rolling down the wrinkled cheeks of his bittersweet smile as if the book in his hands had sentimental values that's dear to his heart .

"Layla ...

... I'm sorry ...

... I'm just ... sorry ..."


Manga page count : 22-23
Proofreading/correction count : 1

14
Develop Your Story / Re: "La Sanctum" Club (18+)
« on: December 18, 2018, 06:26:18 AM »
Chapter 19 : Emotions

Spoiler
A worms-eye view of Layla in her bed of her room inside Feuller General Hospital in the middle of writing a letter with a back wall lamp shining onto her from the back .

As Layla is writing the letter , she is struck by a sudden urge to cough , reactively reaching and pulling out several sheets of tissues to cover her mouth , knocking the tissue dispenser down onto the floor . The cough persist on as signs of blood can be seen permeating through the tissue , weakening it to the point that her last few blast of coughs of air , saliva and blood punches through it , allowing several droplets of blood to drop onto the letter she had invested precious little time and feelings she had writing it , causing her to immediately panic . In desperation , she attempted to to wipe it off before it leaves a permanent mark on it .

Layla (Thought) : *Panics* No please , don't do this to me right now ! I don't want papa to see this stain on my heartfelt feelings ! NO !

Endless flow of tears streams down her cheeks as she kept trying in vain at wiping the bloodstains off the letter , only to be made worse , unintentionally smudging the bloodstains further with her trembling hands , spreading onto the written parts of the letter . Realizing that the stain is not going away , hysteria and delirium began clouding her mind , crippling her mental state as she struggles to keep her sanity and looking for means to get whatever she is trying to achieve done .

Layla (Thought) : *Scratches and held firmly onto her head* What should I do ? What should I do ? Whatshouldidowhatshouldidowhatshouldido ?! I ... I don't know what to do now ! *Coughs* I ... my time's coming ! No ... nonono-NO ! *Gazes towards the ceiling , tearing and sweating in panic , fear and confusion as if she seeking help from someone or something from the "heavens"* Please ... what should I do ? I don't want papa to know about "this" . I don't want papa to feel more pain ... *clenches onto her chest* because it hurts me more ... it hurts ... it hurts ...

The never-ending flow of tears rolls down her cheeks and eventually all over her neck and upper chest from her trembling , confused but blank eyes caused by her constant rubbing in an attempt to contain it as she kept staring at the ceiling .

"... write these feeling you had out as if it's the last one you'll ever make ..."

She recalled that very advice in her mind , the very advice that made her realized her reason in writing the letter and what gave her one last push into completing it as she pushed through her emotional turmoil , withholding it back with all her remaining might from drowning into a deep state of sorrow and anguish that she might be able to escape if it does happen .

"That was the last time I've seen your face ... but felt like a long time since I've last seen one that warms and eases my heart , papa ...

So much regret , so much ... . I should've conveyed my true feelings at those moments in time . Papa ... my most reliable and trustworthy person I can lean upon for a better life , hear my plea ... just this once .

... stop .

This "journey" both of us had embarked on ever since I was still a toddler ... your constant assurance that everything's alright , even if it causes you endless pain ... even if it meant distancing yourself away from me ... even if it cost you your own happiness and life ... I can't bear to see all of it anymore . I can understand your ongoing assurance you showed to me . You always give it your all to make sure that I don't experience anymore bad things after that incident ... that I'm being treated with care and love I had not gotten ever since I was born ... that no form of harm befalls onto me . This I can understand , appreciate , respect and most of all , love ... but why go this far ... ? Why ?

If you're still on this "journey" to make sure everything's going to go back the way it were ... stop . Stop lying to me , papa , you knew ... I known of it already ... all of it , long before I was placed in this place .

I'm scared . These ... chills I'm constantly being feeling ever since I knew of my illness ... it's so cold , yet I'm sweating from it . My fingers ... the sole of my feet ... they're cold and numb to the touch and my heart ... it's hurts more and more with every heartbeat . Everything's so dark but I'm helpless in stopping its advancement . I can see an opened door before me and I can no longer resist the temptation to walk into it ..."

A reservoir of darkest of feelings shatters her already weakened last mental fortification as it began flooding her mind uncontrollably , drowning her again once more in her internal sorrow and anguish for the rest of the day as the room slowly dims away into total darkness completely and gradually ...

"... papa , what I truly wish is not to be with you together like we used to back in those happy days of our lives , not just . Papa's happiness is my source of happiness ... I'm content with just that .

Even if I won't be there to had it ... as much as it pains me to go through with such reality ... even if it doesn't reach to you today ...

... let it go ...

..."

"Ron ..."


*Sound of paper hitting a surface nearby*

The black scene gives way in a way that a straight-edged silhouette dropping down , revealing Ron standing in front , clearly enraged and in a state of distraught .

Ron : ... what is this ...

Atramille : *Stunned for a moment* ... It's ... a letter . It's for you from your s- ...

Ron (Enraged) : Stop PLAYING tricks with ME !!! THIS IS NOT LAYLAY ! SHE WOULDN'T SAY AND ACT LIKE THIS FOR ME !!!

Atramille : But I can vouc-

Ron : *Throws a letter in his hand at Atramille's face* She's not DEAD ! She's NOT ***KING DEAD !!! How much more damage do all of you - EVERYONE ! How long are you going to make us suffer ?! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE US THE F*** ALONE ?! Because of you all , everything's ... everything ...

Atramille : *Grabs hold of the letter thrown by Ron* But this letter was given to me by a nurse who worked in the hospital where your sister was . So , it cannot be a fals- *Gets hit by a vase on the forehead , shatters upon impact*

The impact of a vase onto Atramille's forehead signals the end of any non-hostile attempts into reasoning and talking with Ron anymore as she she was forced to read his every disregarded and violent acts of trashing and flinging more objects towards her that may further cause her more harm . Slowly but eventually , she inches her way through the chaos to get a hold around his waist and immediately restrained him by folding his arms close to his body while minimizing his movement around the room with all her strength she could muster as he repeatedly attempts to break free from her grasp while screaming the same lines .

Ron : LET ME GO ! LAYLAY'S STILL ALIVE ! ALL OF THAT HAS TO BE A LIE ! A F***ING LIE !

Atramille : *Struggles to restrain Ron , continues receiving beatings from him* B ... ut I w ... asn't ... ngghh !

Ron (Distraught) : THIS IS ALL A LIE !!! BUT- ... but WHY ?! Why can't I deny it ?! I didn't notice it ! WHY ?! The signs ... that line ... she kept reciting it everytime ... everytime ... every- ... *Slowly slumps down onto the floor with Atramille , starts breaking into tears* why ... what have ... what have I've done ? Layla ... she ... she's- ...

Atramille (Solemn) : *Hugs Ron in a sympathetic and emphatic manner*  ... my deepest condolences ...

Ron : *Facial expression disfigures rapidly , a stream of tears flows down from his eyes* LaaAYLLLAAA ~~~ AAARGH ~~~ !!!

The wailings of Ron's lament of lost and loneliness towards the mortifying and bitter reality of the loss of his only family member reverberates throughout the mansion with echoes so haunting and depressing , it miraculously call forth a downpour , further enriching the current atmosphere in the scene , with the clouded moonlight dimly lit them from the only window of the room , casting a long shadow that stretches a limitless distance towards bleak darkness that soon unveils itself a new scene where a pale-looking figure is seen in a great distance curled up into a ball with his head buried within in a middle of a field of grass and flowerbeds , bleached by the intensity of the lighting leaking from fissures formed around the ceiling and walls of dark , jagged crystals from the ongoing tremors rocking the scene a low hum . Fragments of the walls and ceiling of a spiky and boulder-like in shape ranging from pebbles to the size of an asteroid can be seen raining down onto the field and onto the pale-looking figure , endangering the pale-looking figure , covered in scrapes , bruises and cuts all over from previous inflictions from the falling fragments but doesn't seem to have any pained reaction to it . As the pale-looking figure remained curled on the spot motionless while taking occasional hits from falling debris of the crumbling ceiling and walls around , a bleached but , blurred figure with silky , shoulder-length , dark-brown hair with facial features veiled by both intense lighting and hair made an entry out from the intense lighting in a distance walking towards the pale-looking figure . The mysterious figure pauses just in front of the pale-looking figure and observed in silent for a moment before seats next to the pale-looking figure .

Pale-looking figure : ... who is it ... ?

Mysterious figure : It is I , Ron . We've met before .

Ron : ... that voice ... *slowly raises head , revealing a sunken face partially covered by a crumbling mask , wearing a defeated expression and a black eye with tears rolling down from the eye* ... why are you here ... ?

Mysterious figure : I'm here to guide you , as usual .

Ron : ... what is the point ... all of it ... *buries head behind his legs and arms* ... gone ...

Mysterious figure : *Slightly sombre expression* ... all is not lost .

Ron : ... please end my life ...

Mysterious figure : ... I'm afraid I can't do that . It would only shatter your little sister's heart and wish .

Ron (Thought) : ... lies ... all lies ... I don't understand why ...

Silence looms on as the mysterious figure kept Ron accompanied amidst the chaotic event still going on around them . But as time passes on , things took an unexpected development . Fissures on the ceiling and walls of dark crystals began to slow down to a near halt and fragments of it rains down lesser onto the fields around them . Rumbling sounds and tremors began to subside to sublime level of intensity . True silence ... no billows of wind , no singing of birds ... not even the sound of rustling grass can be heard behind what was once chaotic strings of destruction .

Ron : ... why ...

Mysterious figure : Hmm ?

Ron : ... why me ... everything happened because of me ?

Mysterious figure : Everything happens for any and many reasons and it's not only for one and only because of you .

Ron : ... lies again ...

Mysterious figure : *Sigh* ... it may sound so to you but like a certain someone else who was once close to you had stated ... "A child like you will never understand ...-"

Ron (Stunned) : *Raises head and looked towards the mysterious figure* "... but I can't help but to fear not being able to and when you're old enough , to confess the reason for our fighting" ... that was what my papa had said . How were you able to ...

Mysterious figure : *Gentle smile* I've been watching you ... and Laylay as well .

Ron : Laylay ? ... only I knew of her name ... it can't be ...

Mysterious figure : ... I hope that would absolve any thoughts of me lying about it .

Ron : ... then ... then why did she-

Mysterious figure : It's not your fault for her passing ... and everything else you felt you're responsible for .

Ron : But ... how can it not be ? Everything bad only happens to them ... always , around me . Everytime ... whenever I did something-

Ron is startled into silence by the sudden embrace by the mysterious figure and not a word is being spoken for a brief moment in time . As the tranquility plays on during those moment , gentle billows of wind had the flowers and grass dancing in unison throughout the field . Fragments of dark crystals which was part of the walls and ceiling began disintegrating and eventually being kicked up by it , creating a magical-like effect to the scene as its fine , sparkling dusts envelops the whole area .

Mysterious figure : Didn't I tell you ? Everything happens for many , many reasons and for any reasons too ... too many that it may not even yours to be held accountable to begin with ...

Several flashback events of when Ron's parents were fighting with each other while being watched by him from behind the door , his father leaving him and young Layla , covered in blanket , in the middle of the night outside the shack , him getting kicked in the back by his mother while she watches the act in horror , both of them standing in front of a recently-covered up grave with a depressed looks on their face drenched under the rain and a split scene of Layla unconscious in her bed with tubings and IV fluids attached onto her while being treated by several doctors and nurse nearby and a pale-looking figure with a expressionless mask seated in the middle of nothing gazing towards an endless horizon of pure darkness .

"They fought not because you nor Laylay's very existence . It's only an adult thing would do and only adults would understand ... conflict happens . They had problems themselves , problems that caused an unsealable rift unless some sort of agreement that both could get behind to that never came to be . Because of that , either one of the two is forced to make a move to make sure it doesn't continue in front of the both of you ...

Your papa did just that ... but it was years too late . Him not returning back wasn't because of your fault ... nor it was Laylay's . He had his reasons ... and he did his best  to fulfill his part of his role in your life ... imprinting a sense of hope into both you and your little sister's life that he may return back to you one day without harboring any sense of resentment .

But your mama couldn't accept it , emotions began ravaging her mind and judgement . She had to blame someone or something for the travesty that had befall onto her life .... someone to shoulder her burden , a mean of escape from all of it . You were just unfortunate to be her outlet too all of that but it was none your fault . You were at that time just doing what a child would do ... too young to understand her erratic , rampant and destructive behavior and actions towards you and your little sister .

Against such odds , you had to do what's best to ensure life for both for yourself and for your beloved little sister and assumed the role of an "adult" without understanding life of an adult from adults themselves . You placed your inherent understanding and experience as a placeholder to fill that void . It was never meant to ... it wasn't the right kind of ideals to begin with and with her passing , it came as a shock to that ideals you thought was perceived as the right one , an "adult" one . You kept blaming yourself for all that had happened so far , yet still rendered incapable at understanding why ...

... it was at that moment that your mind left behind its husk of an adult body behind to face reality alone . Fearful , withdrawn and weakened , it meanders an endless but ever shrinking loop ... bound , trapped and lost ..."


Flashback ends , returning back to the scene of a crying Ron leaning himself onto the mysterious figure's embrace .

The mysterious figure hummed a soothing tone while stroking the disheveled hair of a weeping Ron , shuddering and wailing under the embracing cover of the mysterious figure's body filled with much nurturing care and love , an attempt at healing his shattered mind and soul , as the scene soon encloses itself in darkness . The weepings of Ron and the humming of the mysterious figure can still be heard within the darkness , invoking a sense of bittersweet yet comforting feel within the darkness ...

"... it's not your fault ... it never was . The wheel of fate never stops turning and everything in life's fate are bound to that . You were just doing your best to make all ends meet but fate had been cruel to you all the while ... it had been , ever since you were born . You're a tough boy for going through all of that for a long time , taking blows after blows ... but in the end of the day , you're still a young human being and you can only take so much beating ...

...

"Let it go ... let me go . It's your turn ... be free and be happy for me ." ... that's her final , earnest and heartful wish for you ..."


The scene goes on for an unspecified amount of time with the gentle breeze kept kicking and stirring the powdered form of the disintegrated dark crystals which were once part of the walls and ceilings of the scene , creating a mesmerizing spectacle of shimmering glitters all over the scene , with the grass and flower dancing along to the wind . The remnants of the dark crystal walls and ceiling soon completely disintegrates and joining along with others , revealing an endless span of crystal blue sky , fluffy-looking white clouds and field of more dancing grass and flowerbeds with a few saplings can be seen sprouting far into the horizon . The area around the mysterious figure and Ron soon turned into dirt and without any sensible explanation , a dirt path is being carved from where they were .

Ron : ... ummhh ...

Mysterious figure : Feeling well rested now ?

Ron : Did I ...

Mysterious figure : Yes . You were quite a deep sleeper . The breeze in here is chilling cold ... or was it just me .

Ron : ... oh .

Mysterious figure : *Points towards a dirt path before them* Are you ready to walk on a new path ahead of you ?

Ron : *Silence for a moment* ... I'm afraid .

Mysterious figure : What is it you're afraid of ?

Ron : I ... I don't know . What if I stray off the path again ? What if all of that had happened happen again ...

Mysterious figure : It won't happen .

Ron : But , mama said-

Mysterious figure : A path is unique to the individual themselves . It is never dictated nor determined by anyone other than themselves . Good or bad , rough or smooth , dark or light ... that is for you and only you to choose to walk on . That's what led to events , incidents and misfortunes that had happened around you ... to your papa , your mama , Aunt Gail ... your little sister Laylay and to you yourself , Ron .

Ron (Dumbfounded) : ...

Mysterious figure : *Light giggles* To put it simple , You weren't straying off the path at all . It's nearly impossible for it to happen to anyone .

Ron : *Droops head* ... even so ... I don't know where to start ... or how ...

Mysterious figure : *Got up and walked a few steps in front and gazes towards the sky* ... "them" .

Ron : Huh ? Who ?

Mysterious figure : ... your "answer" .

Ron : What ? I don't understand . Who are "they" you speak of ?

Mysterious figure : *Began fading away , consumed by the intensification of the ambient light* Someone you knew ... for a long time ... and a certain lady . They're waiting for your return , Ron . Therefore , I must leave now ...

Ron (Panic) : W-wait ! Are you leaving ?! I'm still in the dark ! How do you know of my name ?! Who are you ?!

And the mysterious figure turned around , giving Ron one and only glimpse of the mysterious figure face - a fair woman with subtle wrinkles , a dimpled smile , features that of a middle-aged woman , partially covered by her front hair , no longer obscured by the bright lighting . She gave him one final , heartwarming smile that brought him into tears once more , and answered to his plea one last time before fading away forever , never to be seen again .

Mysterious figure : I'm the person who blessed you with that name before- ... *vanishes away*

Ron : Wait ! Don't leave me yet ! PLEASE !

The sudden departure of the mysterious figure brought Ron curling down onto the dirt and cried on once more alone in the middle of the field as it slowly being enveloped entirely by whiteness . Echoes of what sounded like a conversation can be heard from afar coming closer towards him with an increased clarity as the white background began dissipating away , gradually revealing a new , somewhat familiar surrounding .

"Ron ... ? Ron ? Ron's coming to be ..."

"He's waking up ? Thank goodness !"

" What ? He's waking up ?! Move away , I got to-"

"There , there now , miss . Let them do their job first . Responsibility . I'm gonna be outside now ..."

"*Tch* Fine . I'll keep quiet by the sideline ..."

"Say that to your perked-up t-thuUORGHH !!!"

"Say that you're not Perv-O-Donna and I'll give you true hell ..."

"... keep quiet . Ron's regaining consciousness . Please leave us alone for a short while ."


Early morning , inside a bedroom , a chandelier lit up a bed , the only object in an unusually empty room , where Ron is seen resting on , accompanied by someone dressed in a unusual maid outfit at the side . The window of the room is missing , as if it was removed in some way or another , allowing a chilly night breeze to blow freely into the room .

Ron : ... this place ...

??? : You're inside Alinna's mansion , in one of her vacant sleeping chamber .

Ron : *Turns over to see who is he talking to* Atramille ... *pulls up blanket* ... cold ...

Atramille : Forgive me for my incompetence . I was unable to seal nor fix the broken window in time . It was the one thing I failed to do when I managed this room .

Ron : Huh ... ? I don't understand ...

Atramille : When I first made entry into this room , it was as if there was a major struggle happening between two giants . Furnitures broken , windows shattered , doors battered ...

Ron : *Notices wounds and bruises on her face and hands* ... were you a part in it ? Those wounds ...

Atramille : Yes . It was inflicted upon by yours truly .

Ron : H-have I ... ? Why can't I remember anything at all ? Still , I'm sorry fo-

Atramille : No need for an apology . It is I who should be doing so ... *got up and bowed in a deep , apologetic manner before him* I'm truly sorry for-

Ron : Wait , hold on there ! I don't understand ! Everything's so hazy ... *discovers several crumpled pieces of paper that had been unraveled flat lying on top of the blanket before him* what are these ? *Stunned* This ... are these ... ?

Atramille : It was from your late little sister , Layla . I'm truly sorry for bringing such desponding news to you on such unwelcoming time .

Ron : What ? ... wait , I- ... I remember now . You were-

Atramille : Yes . I might've inexplicably opened a reservoir of what could be describe as a Pandora's box , condemning me , my sisters and our cause with a sense of insensitivity and obliviousness to its reason of its sealing and concealment . Delivering this news to you was what made me realize just how far deep I am in that guilt for committing such sinful act . I thought it was the least I could do in satisfying the void in your heart ... *caresses her wounded face* it's evident it hasn't and wasn't enough . These wounds ... testaments to my complacency to your griefs , pain and suffering that were present long before mine and our intervention into your private life , these is what we must bear for life . If our departure from your sight and life , like you yourself and mademoiselle Alinna had being advocating for all this time be what you're wishing for , the I shall do s-

Ron : Stop !

Atramille (Anxious) : But if I don't do so , won't your soul still be-

Ron : It doesn't matter ! So , don't !

Atramille : But I must do so . Or you will never be at peace-

Ron : *Slams fists down onto the sides of the bed with force* AND THAT WAS MY FAULT !!!

Atramille (Stunned) : ...

Ron : You heard me alright ! That fault's on me ... mine all along ...

Atramille : ... but-

Ron : I- ... I was a fool ... naive ... stubborn ... and afraid . Very afraid ... afraid of loss , afraid of change ... afraid of the unknown and everything that wasn't part of the path my mama had told me to follow on . I kept thinking it was all because of me for all that happened , then maybe ... maybe the answers might come to me ... maybe I will come to understand it all , *gazes at his own hands* I believed that I'm an "adult" ... but I'm not . I wasn't all along . I'm still just a child ... heart and mind . Because of that ! ... because of that , I- ... I ! Laylay ... I'm so sorry ... I'm so sorry ... I'm so sorry ...

Drooping down his head in an attempt at concealing his vulnerability from Atramille , Ron broke down into tears once more as teardrops falls onto the letter held with his trembling hands . Feeling sympathetic and equally responsible for what she had done towards him , she sat herself next to him in his bed with arms wrapped around his slim torso and laid her head next to his , giving him much needed sense of sympathy , love and care for his loss .

To be continued ...

Manga page count : 28-30
Proofreading/correction count : 0

15
Chapter 18 : Cursed

Spoiler
The scene began in complete darkness accompanied by torrential sound of rain and the ringing of ceremonial bells that slowly reveals itself soon after of a memorial site for people to pay respects for the dead in a drizzling , gloomy afternoon , three years later . A small crowd of people dressed in black gathered around a casket with the name 'Gail' engraved on the cover in the midst of being lowered awaiting proper burial . Among the crowd , young Layla is seen holding young Ron's hand while she looks at him , both clearly had grown closer to adulthood .

Young Ron (Solemn) : *Mindless and lifeless gaze at the casket* ...

Young Layla (Thought) : *Stares at young Ron's face , concerned* ... papa ...

Young Layla kept a curious but pained eyes at young Ron , motionless and dead and blank in expression while the people who were there mourning began leaving the area one by one until there's no one left there , except for the both of them . The remaining natural light that lit up the scene soon starts fading away , consumed by the growing dark clouds which led to much heavier downpour , soaking young Layla and Ron completely . They've remained there ... motionless and unchanged for minutes that felt like hours . Losing the fight against the cold from being soaked for too long , the same can't be said for him as he seemed unfazed , she tried to call out her brother , only to have a disgusted as his wrinkled severely and gradually while still retaining that dead stare at the casket for a moment before slowly looking down towards her . His empty yet haunting stare frightens her , promptly stopping her from calling him out .

Young Layla (Terrified & Hesitant) : *Forced grin and trembling* Papa , you okay ?

Young Ron : ... fine ... everything's going to be all right ...

Young Layla (Thought) : Papa , you're scaring me ...

Young Ron : *Turned head in a slow and lifeless manner away from young Layla and walks away* ... everything's fine ... as long I don't stray from the path ... we'll always be together ...

Young Layla : *Coughs several times* ... papa ...

"Everything's fine" , "As long I don't stray from the path" , "Together ... forever" ... he mutters to himself as he walked away from his little sister , distraught and lifeless as young Layla stood there motionless and displaying signs of being sickly , unable to bring herself to be by his side no more like she used to before the passing of Gail as she can only watch him slowly distancing himself without a trace of awareness or familial care and love to even comfort his little sister , let alone take a look back or even call out for her to come along to his side , something she'd internally wished he do at the very least . And so she waited , waited and waited until he vanishes from her sight under the thick veil of shower , even knowing already that he will never turn back and be by her side like always , she kept on waiting ...

"... papa ...

What happened to papa ... ?

... why did papa leave me alone ?

... please ... don't leave me ..."

She wept and begged in her mind until her body can't take it no more and fainted on the spot ...


Moments later , inside a bedroom of someone's house , a large bed covered in white sheet nestles in the corner next to an opened window with its complementary curtain flutters from a cool breeze billowing into the room . Frisse is seen seated by the bed , currently occupied by young Layla , with an oil lamp placed next to it on top of a wooden side-table .

Young Layla : Unngh ...

Frisse : Ah , take much rest , dear . You're having high fever from fainting under the cold shower .

Young Layla : Aunt Frisse ... . Papa ... where's papa ...

Frisse : Sorry , dear . When I found you , he's nowhere to be seen , not even here , in my late-friend Gail's house .

Young Layla : ... papa , where are you ... please don't leave me ... *started tearing up*

Frisse : There , there now ... he'll be back , trust me . Now , get some more sleep ... (Just where did he disappeared to ? Leaving her like that ...)

A series of scene of young Ron wandering aimlessly around the rural residential and semi-urban commercial districts , distraught and lifeless . At one moment , he began smiling , albeit in a creepy manner as if he is smiling out of insanity .

"Papa did came back to me and kept me safe and happy like always ... but papa didn't remained by my side for long . Everytime papa came back to me papa looks so sweaty , sometimes papa is covered in all sorts of icky stuffs all over ... but everytime ... papa is always so tired . The time we spent together got shorter ... most of the time papa is either out somewhere or fast asleep from being too tired . Papa even never take a bath before going to sleep and the clothing papa papa had on was all weird ... I've never seen such clothing .

But otherwise , papa always returns my happiness like he used to , like always ...

... always ."


Four years later , in a poorly-lit alleyway at the back of a restaurant early afternoon where young Ron , now had grown into his mid teen dressed in an attire of the restaurant staff is seen hauling a big and heavy rubbish bag over and into a large dumpster .

Male staff : *Screaming from inside* Shift change ! Shift change ! All morning shift are to check out within an hour !

A call out has been made , marking the switch in shift , but he continued to work for the entire hour before ending his work shift . After scanning his ID , he sprinted without hesitation out and passing by several buildings , pedestrians , street and city landmarks , utilities and commercial banners , all the way to the front of a large bookstore , Eligor's Fine Books . Through the window and by the counter , an elderly man with greyed-out hair and short beard in black vest ,white shirt and brown trousers is seen seated onto a stool , is seen in the middle of writing something on a small notepad . Behind him seated by a narrow staircase , a teenage girl , from the slender figure and the notable chest , despite her head being concealed by the flooring for the second floor , is seen in preoccupied with a book in hand .

Bookstore owner : Ah , if it isn't Ron . Looking to purchase another book for a read together with your little sister ?

Young Ron : I don't know yet . Can I browse through your collections first ?

Bookstore owner : Go right ahead .

And so he began browsing through aisle after aisle of books stacked and arranged on bookshelves of towering heights , imposing and intimidating especially for a youngster like Ron as if its closing or even raring to topple over onto anyone who gazes onto it for too long . Assorted types and kinds of books can be seen being sold in the bookstore , from old to new , wafer-thin to dictionary-thick , comic books to educational textbooks for all ages and ideals . Somewhere along one of the many secluded aisle , he idles in front of stacks of what seems to be a collections of thick-covered brown , vintage books and began browsing through all of it for minutes . One particular book , old-fashioned , worn-out book with a large golden title in front of it - "The Golden Pass To Utopia" caught his attention , prompting him into picking it up and headed straight towards the cashier counter to make a purchase .

Bookstore owner : Ah , this book ... how intriguing that you picked that up .

Young Ron : It was ?

Bookstore owner : Before it was just a fairytale storybook , it was once believed to be a telling documentary of a mythical phenomenon .

Young Ron : *Smile* I'm sure she'll be happy to read it along with me .

Bookstore owner : Oh , how sweet of you . I hope you keep spending as much time you could spare with your little sister , okay ? That'll be 1000 herskels (Writer's note : Roughly $1.50) . Half price discount for regular customer .

Young Ron : Thank you ! I'll be off now , bye !

Bookstore owner : *Waves him goodbye* Bye ~ .

Teenage girl : Pops , who is he ?

Bookstore owner : A regular customer . How unusual for him to be even working at his age ...

Teenage girl : ... I agree too .

A human perspective full view of a partially decrepit , wooden-plaster , single-storey bungalow nearly devoid of color all worn out by nature , surrounded by overgrowth with garden flowers jotting out of it indicating signs of lack of maintenance . The concrete pavement that leads to the garage are riddled with cracks and chips with overgrown lawn grass bleeding over the sides of the pavement . The interior of the garage is barely visible from thick concentration of dust kicked up by wind entering it as if the garage door hasn't been closed for years . Young Ron is seen running towards the front door with a book he purchased not long ago from the bookstore and a bag of packed meals in hand . Young Layla , grown up like a freshly bloomed daisy , dressed in a white one-piece dress , stood by the front door waiting for someone's return as she dazes towards the sunset sky coughing occasionally .

Young Layla (Elated) : Papa ~~~ ! *cough* Welcome back home .

Young Ron : Are you okay ?

Young Layla : *Nods* Perfectly fine . Don't worry ! *Grins*

Young Ron (Hesitant) : ... are yo-

Young Layla : Perfectly fine ! *Pouts*

Young Ron : Okay , okay . Come , let get to eating before we get to a new storybook I've picked up on my way here .

Young Layla : Ya- *coughs hard* !!!

Young Ron (Worried) : Are you sur-

Young Layla : *Hands up , stopping young Ron from finishing his question* I screamed too hard there ! *grins and blushes* .

Young Ron : *Deep sigh of relief* You got me worried there for a second .

Young Layla : Teh heh !

In a dimly lit bedroom , the ceiling lamplight 'struggles' keep the room constantly well lit . Young Ron and Layla is seen seated on a bed meant for adults , happily reading the book Ron bought not long ago together while having their meal .

Young Layla : Ooo ... so interesting . I wonder if we can get one of it ... *looks at young Ron motionless with his eyes partially opened* ... papa ?

Young Ron (Thought) : ... why can't I shake off the feeling of de ja vu ?

Young Layla : *Shouts close to young Ron's ear* PAPAAA ~~~ !

Young Ron (Startled) : AAA ~~~ !!!

Young Layla : *Pouts in anger* ...

Young Ron : S-s-sorry ? Just feeling very sleepy right now . Aren't you too ?

Young Layla : Uh-huh .

Young Ron : Okay , let me tuck you there ... and there we go .

Young Layla : ... um , papa ?

Young Ron : Yes ?

Young Layla : *Turns away from young Ron* ... nothing . Nighty-night ...

Young Ron : ... *Shrugs off and goes to sleep*

And sound asleep he is the moment he laid his head onto the pillow , while being watched by his little sister with a sad expression . She then hugged him from behind and pressed her forehead onto his back as she began to tear up and sobs but her cries didn't wake him up at the slightest bit ...

"... I can't do it ... I can't say it . Aunt Frisse ..."


The scene where both young Ron and Layla is transitions into a flashback scene of her seated up in a bad condition , coughing and hacking in a disturbing and horrifying manner while being tended to by Frisse .

Frisse : You're not getting any better ever since when I brought you back from the cemetery unconscious . I need to tak-

Young Layla : No- *Coughs and hacks from sudden raise in voice , followed by taking in deep breaths* ... no , please . Papa must not know that I'm gone ... papa must not know I'm not okay !

Frisse : Bu-

Young Layla : NO ! *Coughs* ... papa must not know , papa shouldn't ... or else , or else ... papa'll end up like before , back then . *Shedding tears* ... I don't want that ... that's not papa I love ! *Curls up and buried her head behind her legs under the cover of her arms , crying*

Frisse (Solemn) : *Forlorn expression as she watches young Layla , helpless* ...

"... I can't ... I must be happy for papa ... I must ."

The next day , in front of young Ron and Layla's house late evening ...

Young Ron : (Hmmm ? She's not waiting for me by the doorway ...) *Looked around the compound* Laylay ? ... where is she ?

In an ever increasing state of fear , young Ron yells throughout the house looking for young Layla's whereabouts . Upon entering their bedroom , he discovers her still in her bed . Thinking that she may sound asleep , he tip-toed towards her and jolts her up but she didn't get awaken from it . His act of shaking her up causes her entire body to move and shuffle around like a rag-doll , her body felt cold to the touch of his hands , he began to panic . Distraught as he feared for the worst , he carried her lifeless body out of the house and ran towards the nearest known hospital , still very exhausted from his day job as he struggles to inhale every breath while keeping his frantic , hasty pace without dropping her or falling over .

Inside the emergency ward waiting room of Feuller General Hospital ... few hours later . A doctor is being accompanied by a nurse as they exited the emergency room and immediately gets greeted by a distraught young Ron , still drenched in sweat from tiredness and fear .

Young Ron (Desperate) : Is she okay ?! Tell me she's fine !

Doctor : Yes , she's stable for now . She ... she seems to be very anemic (Which is odd for her age . What's causing it ... ?) .

Young Ron : Th-thank you for the good news ! Can I visit her now ? Please ? I need to be by her side ... forever .

Doctor : Not yet . We're still running a few more tests to make sure she doesn't have any other undiscovered or underlying illnesses . Please be patient until then .

Young Ron : ... I'll wait right here . *sat himself down on one of the chairs by the ward*

Moments later , most of the lights in the room had been turned off as to allow the patients to sleep .

Doctor : *Wakes young Ron up* Mr. Ron ?

Young Ron (Groggy) : Umhh ... doctor . What's the result ?

Doctor : *Sigh* ... Leukemia ... final stage .

Young Ron : Huh ? Leukemia ?

Doctor : It's a form of life-threatening cancer . Give or take , six months to a year to live ...

Young Ron : W-wait ... you're kidding me ... right ? You're telling me ...

Doctor (Solemn) : ... I'm sorry .

Young Ron (Despair) : No ... no way . This must be a lie , a dream ... why me again ... why us ... *drops down onto his knees , trembling in tears* ... I did what you asked me to . Why ... I don't understand .

Doctor (Thought) : *Averts gaze and walks away* ...

Young Ron : No ... *shakes head violently* NO ! She's perfectly fine ! *Ran in front of the doctor and grabbed him by the collar of his coat* Aren't you a doctor ? Cure her of "Leukemia" ! DO IT !!!

Head nurse : Sir ! Stop what you're doing this instant !

Young Ron : *Lets go of the doctor* ... sorry . But please ... I beg of you ...

Doctor : ... though in her current state the chances of curing her illness is very lo-

Young Ron : I'll take it !

Doctor : (Can you afford it in the first place ? I can tell it's impossible ...) ... the treatment's expensiv-

Young Ron : I don't care ! I'll take in more jobs , even if it cost me my life ... whatever it takes to return to the way it was ... the way we were , I'd do it ! Just give her the treatment !

Doctor (Solemn) : ... *Deep sigh* alright . *Pulls out papers for the treatment from his file in his hand* Fill up these form for the approval . We accept deposits of a minimum 10% per treatment cost . If you wish to see her , she is resting in room 444 .

Young Ron : *In tears , relieved* Thank you ! *Fills up the form*

Head nurse : *Whispers* Are you sure it's the right thing to do ?

Doctor : Hospital policy . He has the final say on this matter ... much to my dismay .

Inside room 444 of the Intensive Care Unit inside Feuller General Hospital , young Layla is seen seated upright with her back resting against the hospital headboard , with several IV tubing attached to her hands located by the window .

Young Ron : *Swings the door wide open* Laylay !

Young Layla : RonRon , You're here ! ... why am I here ?

Young Ron : Everything's going to be alright !

Young Layla : RonRon ?

Young Ron :  I'm going to make everything better ! for both of us ... I have to ... I must !

Young Layla : RonRon ... what are yo-

Young Ron : Wait for me ! I'll be right back after getting rid of the "monster" infesting our base ! Wait for me ! *Runs off*

Young Layla : W-wait !

"Like always ... like always ... like ... always ... *tearing up*"

As she clutches one of her hands close to her chest with much agony and pain having to to accept her fate and the outcome she longed to keep it hidden and away from realization , away from his brother's mind ... she can no longer hold back her tears and cried out the entire night .


Inside the receptionist hall of Feuller General Hospital , young Ron is seen ransacking and flipping browsing through numerous newspapers and magazines taken from all of the racks on the floor .

Ron (Thought) : *Skims through the 'Jobs and Application' section of a newspaper , looking for available job* ... just what did I do wrong to deserve all of this ? Why can't I see it ? Why can't I understand still ? Why ... WHY ?!

The scene gradually gets consumed by darkness that prolongs for the remainder for the page , as if nothing had happened after that for a long time , but gradually returns back to the same room where young Layla is , seated upright facing young Ron , seemingly in the middle of a conversation .

Young Layla : It's been a year already . Why can't we return back home ?

Young Ron : The "monster" had adapted and my current attacks no longer works on it . *Smiles* I need more time to prepare the means to attack that . We'll get it back from it and then , we can go back together like always . So , please wait for a while longer .

Young Layla (Gloomy & thought) : ... you're lying , aren't you ?

Young Ron (Nervous) : Uh ... is that a problem for you , LayLay ?

Young Layla : *Shakes head* ... it's nothing . *Grins* If you say so , RonRon . I'll wait !

Young Ron : *Sigh of relief* Okay then ... I'm leaving now . I need to attend a "meeting" with someone ASAP .

Young Layla : U-uhm ... *nods* . Come back soon .

Young Ron : ... *Bittersweet smile* I will ... *leaves room*

Young Layla (Solemn) : *Watches him leaving the room* ... please ...

"... after that time ...

After the "meeting" ... that "meeting" , whatever had happened after that ...

Tomorrow , a couple of days , several days , a week , a few weeks and then a month ...

Those were the time papa were together with me , but everytime papa were with me ...

Papa grew more distant from me ...

Papa grew more and more tired ...

Papa often struggle to keep up with me to read a storybook together ...

Papa hardly ever smile along with me like papa used to , make funny jokes , play along , or even have a long , happy talk , just the two of us ...

... papa ... what happened to papa after that "meeting" ?"


A month later , late night in the same room ...

*Sound of door opening*

Young Layla : *Turns focus towards the door , expecting young Ron to greet her* Welcome back pa- ... pa ... .

And as expected , young Ron greets young Layla ... but not in the way he would before she was hospitalized . With his thin and frail body and facial expression , drained of all the energy and spirit he used to have , he struggles greatly to make his way towards young Layla lying in her bed with much effort , on the verge of collapsing midway , The horrific sight threw pales her into a state of deep panic , prompting her to get out of her bed in an attempt at help him out .

Young Layla (Horrified) : Papa , what happened to you ?!

Young Ron : *Stopped young Layla , smiles unenergetically* ... just ... tired ...

Young Layla (Solemn) : RonRon ... why ...

Reluctant , young Layla remained in bed and watches the struggles of young Ron in despair and grief as he dragged a nearby chair next to her bed with much effort and struggle . He then sat with force , as if he couldn't bear to stand for another second and collapsed by the side of the bed next to her .

Young Ron : Sorry , LayLay ... I forgot ... to bringgh ... strry ... booh ... *fell asleep*

Straight into a deep sleep he goes under as he is being watched over by young Layla with a pained and sombre expression . She places her trembling , frail hands onto his head and caresses his disheveled hair and sweaty forehead in a gentle manner , an act of comfort she could only offer for being helpless in the situation , as tears starts falling down from her eyes . She wept on for the remainder of the night under the company of the moonlight beaming onto them in their bed , illuminating them among the pitch-black darkness of a bleak , bland room ...

Manga page count : 27-29
Online proofreading count : 0

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