I awoke sluggishly, tired from the day before. I looked around, remembering this isn't my room. Let alone my apartment. It's Taylor's. Taylor! I jolted to my feet from the side of the bed frame and didn't see her. Looking closer at the bed and saw a paper note.
'You looked like you were sleeping peacefully, so I left you there. I didn't want to wake you up. I have to go to work today, so I won't be home until later. Don't stay for too long, the neighbors might get suspicious!'
"Making jokes huh?" I couldn't help but muster a faint smile. I'll have to talk to her again when she returns. I feel horrible, constantly exposing her to danger like this. If I'm not careful...I might have another death on my conscious.
I picked myself up and walked across the hall to my actual apartment. I sat on the couch and closed my eyes. Celina...I wonder. If these angels exist, then does that mean Heaven does as well? That could only be the logical deduction. Celina, is that where you are? Is it right for me to pull you back down like this? I'm tainting my hands for something that might not even be real. It's not like I can back out now though. Symphonia, Iacio, Lamina and Baculum. Four Drops of Life. Even if I say to myself only six more left, it still feels like a long journey ahead.
Creak. I heard the floor moan a creaking sound. That wasn't me, I wasn't even moving. Somethings here. An angel? Most likely. I stood up from the couch, surveying my apartment. Nothing to be seen.
"That's weird. I could have sworn something was here." I couldn't figure it out. Is it my imagination? Paranoia? A rat? I laid back onto the couch and let my head hang back. Bonk!
"Ow! What the-" I turned around to see my head had collided with a small framed girl. Her hair was of a dark green. Wavy all around but curly at the ends. Her eyes glowed a fluorescent purple. There was only one thing that led me to easily discover who she is. She has a white jacket with a blue trim. An angel!
"Found my house huh angel? Fine, even if I just fought I can go again!" but as soon as I spoke my words she stopped rubbing the bump on her head and backed up. She ran and hid behind the couch. H-Huh?
"I...I don't want to fight." her voice was soft and not as stern as the others before her. But what stood out the most was what she said.
"Don't...Want to fight? Isn't that what the angels have been doing?"
"To be more precise...That's what you've been doing. We've just been protecting the natural order of life. It's what we're tasked to do." Actually if I recall, Symphonia said something similar to that.
This puzzles me greatly! I just didn't understand. The four angels before her were so aggressive and wanted to murder me, to end my quest. But her...
"What's you name?"
"B-Bellum. Bellum Malleo."
"Well Bellum I-"
"Call me Bell."
"Call me Bell. I like that name much better." despite her shy attitude, she's quite particular about her name.
"Ok, Bell. Why are you here? I don't understand. All the other angels were so assertive about ending my life, but here we are having an actual conversation."
"I...I'm not like them. I don't enjoy such thrill in battle. Even if I have a weapon, I'd rather not use it. But...To answer your actual question. I came here under the veil of 'research'."
"Yes. I wanted to know more about the humans. But they never let me down to Mid Land, or Earth, as humans call it. When word spread through Heaven that there was a human attempting a forbidden ritual, we all got curious. It wasn't until you managed to defeat four of my brothers and sisters, that they started to become more wary and cautious of you."
"So you're saying, you're here to study me?"
"Yes, that is correct. Even if you did kill four of my brothers and sisters, I personally don't have any ill feelings towards you." That's right...Even if these angels are my current enemy, they're all family up there aren't they? I can't think about this...If I do, I might not have the strength to try to revive Celina.
"Thinking about Celina?" she once again said softly. Finally removing herself away from the couch she sat on a chair across from me. Am I that easy to read?
"You know, humans are really weird creatures. They have determination to do things that majority would agree is impossible. A strong drive, a big will to do something. I'm kind of jealous." she smiled softly. As if she herself wishes to be human.
"Humans aren't anything that special really...We're weak. We depend on others for inner strength. Like me, I depend on these gloves. I'm not strong enough to take on a super natural being like you angels."
"But..." she walked over and held my hands. "You have a strong determination to bring back the one you care for. These gloves, are only a tool, you yourself are the one utilizing everything possible to make your dream come true. That's not weakness. At least not to me. It's funny isn't it?"
She let go of my hands and turned around. She walked and stared out the window, viewing the full city.
"How, despite being an angel, we can talk like this. How despite the trials you've faced and despite the angels of my kin you've defeated, we can still talk."
I was speechless, I didn't know what to say. She's really different from the other angels. She's...Kinder, tender. She's more human than any I've ever met. But...Am I going to have to kill her in the end for the Drop of Life? I clutched my fist. It's getting harder and harder to continue my quest...Celina, I want you back but, am I the bad one? She didn't turn around for a while. She just stood there, looking out the window. Staring at the people, the sky, the tree's, the buildings. I don't want to kill her. No, more like I can't. I never hesitated before, is the fact that we can talk so calmly, inflicting my morals?
"Wha- Yes?" The sudden mention of my name caught me off guard.
"What is that frozen treat?" What? Looking outside, I saw she was looking at a child walking with her mother. The child had ice cream in his hand.
"Oh, that's ice cream." I turned to look at Bell and her eyes were sparkling. She wants ice cream huh...
"How about I buy you some?"
"Really?!" at her own excitement she got embarrassed and quickly turned her head. "I-I mean. It would be nice if I could try that." After getting my wallet and keys, we both made our way to nearest ice cream store, Starvel. I would have never though that an angel and I could walk together to an ice cream store together like this.
Walking inside the ice cream store Bell's eyes instantly blew up. "What is this? So many different colors! Are these the flavors? Interesting...Korbin! Which one is the best?! I can't decide! Can I get them all??" She's as hyper as the kids that come here!
"No you can't get them all! I don't have the money for that!" She looked rather sad but instantly puckered up.
"Then I'll take...This one!" she pointed at the vanilla tub.
"One vanilla ice cream cone please." I turned towards the counter clerk.
"Sure, sure. You sure got yourself a nice lil' girlfriend there!" What?! That cheeky ice cream clerk...
"She's not my girlfriend. Just give me the ice cream." I placed the money on the counter and as soon as the ice cream was prepared I grabbed her hand and walked out.
"H-Hey!" I sat us both down at a nearby park's bench. Bell was licking the ice cream so happily, I'd never seen someone get so ecstatic over ice cream.
"This is so delicious! I need to report this back to those above! They'll love this."
"You mean you don't have ice cream in Heaven?"
"Well...The environment in Heaven is a bit different from here. While the aesthetic look hasn't changed since ancient times, advancements in human technology weren't really explored into. Neither were they implemented."
"So this is essentially a whole new world for you." She nodded and began to attack her ice cream again. The more and more I think about it the less and less I want to hurt Bell. It's more of an innate feeling to protect her but, she's an angel. And I need the Drop of Life!
"Is something bothering you Korbin?"
"No. I'm fine, don't worry." Actually what time is it? I looked at the pole clock in the park. It's getting late. I wonder if I should visit Taylor myself...
"Uuu..." I heard what sounded like a sad girl. I turned to see Bell was nearly in tears.
"W-What happened?" I was confused, did something happen to her while I was in thought?
"I...Finished the ice cream..." Oh my god, that's all it was?! I'm a fool to think other wise. Better go home, it's probably better to wait for Taylor to return home rather than going out to see her myself. I shouldn't bother her as much as I have already. I couldn't help but sigh. There's so many things rushing through my mind. Celina, Taylor and now Bell. I want to revive Celina, protect Taylor and avoid harming Bell. But they're all conflicting one another! I...I don't know anymore. I can't just give up on Celina, but they'll keep using Taylor against me and exposing her to danger. And what of Bell? She said she's here to research me. She could use information against me but...She's so much like a regular girl. Agh! I just don't know! I clutched my head with my hands. There's too much roaming in my mind!
Looking over at Korbin I could sense clear distress on his expression. Anger, confusion, hate, love, determination. So many conflicting emotions. He's certainly a curious one. Even if I'm only researching for now, why isn't he worried over me being angel? It's true I don't like violence but I could reveal his weaknesses! He's...Too honest.
Before I even realized it Bell had already stood up. She turned around and grabbed my hand forcing me to my feet with surprising strength.
"Come on, let's go for a walk in this park. I want to see why humans like these places." I don't know why she suddenly got so curious about this park. So we're walking through the park. Watching the birds, the insects, feeling the winds breeze and listening to the sounds of people. It's relaxing. Surprisingly so. It was as if my confusion was flushed away and my mind cleared so I could take in what's around me for once.
"Hey Bell. You say you're going to research me, so, where are you staying?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean where are you going to live?"
"Hmm. Maybe this park. It does have a rather comfortable bench." What? I can't let a girl sleep outside on a bench! Even if she is an angel and can protect herself, actually, it barely has anything to do with that! She's still a girl and leaving a girl outside to sleep is wrong no matter how I look at it!
"Then come back to my apartment. You can sleep there. I'd feel bad leaving a girl outside to sleep all on her own." Her face first showed a puzzled expression then it soon blew up into a red blush. What?
"Y-You perverted human. Even if I am assigned to watch you, I won't do naughty things." she shy-ed away whilst saying this.
"Hey! I'm not thinking anything dirty! Look. I'd just feel bad if you were to sleep outside knowing full well I could have supplied you with a temporary place! That's all!" Her face then changed to a heartening smile.
"Thanks. I will take you up on this offer then."
We both reached the apartment complex rather late. Bell was so interested in everything she saw. A twenty minute walk felt like an hour walk! It was fine though. It's been a while since I was able to relax like this. I sat back onto the couch and stretched my body. Bell was jotting down notes quickly in some notepad she has. Must be what she's using to record what she finds out down here. I gazed over towards the door. Maybe Taylor's back and I can apologize for all this. I really hate getting her involved every time. It's probably better if we stop talking to each other. I stood up and started to walk toward the door.
"Where are you off to?" Bell questioned me.
"To go see a friend. You can stay here." She looked rather upset when I said that but she agreed. I knocked on Taylor's door. No response. I knocked twice this time. No response. Is she really not home yet? It was only when I turned around that I heard the clicking of the door knob. Taylor appeared in her night clothes, a white tank top and jean Capri's. This girl better be careful what she wears in public.
"Listen Taylor...I wanted to apologize again. I keep exposing you to these dangers maybe it's-"
"Who's that?" I turned around to see what she was pointing at and I could see the right side of Bell's face peering from behind my apartment door.
"She's...Well, don't worry about it!" I have to make sure she doesn't find out, I don't want her to get anymore involved!
"I'm worrying. I mean, I see a girl hiding behind the door of your apartment. Am I not supposed to worry?" I guess she's got a point. Wait no!
"I'm not leaving till you tell me Korbin." Oh great...
"She's an angel sent to watch over me."
"AN ANGEL?!" She screamed, what does she think she's doing?!
"Shh! Shh! What will you do if anyone hears you!?"
"Oh come on, it's not like someones really going to believe in angels and stuff!" This girl, despite how carefree she is, she tends to make a lot of sense.
"So let me see her!" Taylor rushed over into my room without even letting me finish what I wanted to tell her. That girl I swear.
"Well uh. Taylor, this is Bellum, but she likes to be called Bell and Bell this is Taylor my neighbor."
"Pleased to meet you Bell! You have a cute name!" Bell's face turned red and she slid behind the couch only looking over from the top at Taylor.
"She's so cute Korbin! Honestly how did you pick up this adorable cutie!" Pick up? It's more like she appeared to me.
"Anyways Taylor. Listen...I really don't want you to get hurt anymore because of me. Maybe we shoooull-" Taylor was stretching out my cheeks with an agitated face. Ow this hurts! She let go noticing my pain.
"Korbin. I keep telling you it's alright. I won't hate you and I won't let you be alone again. I can't do much but I hope by talking to you I can at least ease some of your worries." Her words were filled with kindness. I really can't lose her can I? She's an irreplaceable friend to me. If I were to lose her too, I...I don't know what I'd do.
"Don't worry so much about me Korbin. If anything happens, you better come save me! Gotta go, work starts early tomorrow!" Bell silently watched as Taylor waved her goodbye and skipped back to her own apartment.
"She's too happy...I don't like it" I couldn't help but bust into laughter after hearing Bell say that. I just laughed and laughed! Bell's confused but I couldn't help it! It was so funny to me and it's been so long since I last laughed like this! This relaxation was something I really needed. Thanks, Bell and Taylor. I hope I can relax for just a little bit longer.