Lief runs through the village and heads toward the convenient store.
'She probably still working at the store, I didn't bother to ask Gwen or Aiden if she still works there or not.'
Lief arrives at the convenient store and rushes inside. He looks around for Arianna, though he doesn't find her. He finds a young woman putting supplies on a shelf and walks up to her.
"Um, excuse me, miss. Has Arianna been here today?"
"Why yes she came in today, but her shift just ended. You actually just missed her."
"Did she say where she was going, home by any chance?"
"No she didn't say."
Lief departs the store. As he heads outside he literally bumps into someone and knocks them down.
"Oh, sorry about that." says Lief stunned shaking his head. He looks down and sees that the person is Odah. She shakes her head and looks up at Lief.
"Lief," she says in surprise, "you're back."
Lief extends his hand and helps her to her feet.
"Oh yeah, you're the chief's daughter, aren't you?"
"Yes, I'm Odah, don't you remember me, we spoke when you and Sir Asher came to the restaurant. This was a while ago now but..."
"Yes, I remember you. Thanks for listing to me back then."
"Your welcome. So, have you been with Sir Asher all this time?"
"How have you been, have things improved between you and him?"
"Ive been good. Yes, it got a bit rocky in the beginning but you were right about sticking with him and believing in the way he teaches things."
"Yeah, that's Asher with his unique ways. They seem unusual but there's always a method behind them."
Odah takes a close look at Lief's arms, "You seem to have gotten buffer since last I saw you."
Lief looks around, then back at Odah.
"Um, can you excuse me. I have to do something."
"Oh, of course."
Lief walks past Odah. Odah turns around to watch Lief walk off.
'Good to see him again, I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get to see him anymore. Lief...you're so...'
Lief walks off through the streets and pathways of the village searching for Arianna. Lief walks off in a rush as evening sets in.
On top of a tall grassy hill that overlooks the village, Arianna finds herself sitting on a bench. She stretches one arm out on the bench and looks behind her to the far distance. She looks on with a sadness in her eyes wondering to herself.
'The sun is so pretty this time of day with the bright orange glow from the sun, makes you feel as your troubles are going down with it. For some reason it makes me think of Razala, probably because I enjoyed watching the sunset there as well. Razala I wonder...how are you? How are the people? I can only hope that you and your people will be able to sleep easy tonight. I can only imagine what pain you must be feeling right now. Please do not worry, someday it's going to be alright. I promise...I'll come back and fix everything. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday...Just know that I love you with every last ounce of my heart and I will never stop until we are reunited. Just please, we have to endure for just a little while longer.'
Arianna sits up on the bench, crossing her feet and placing her hands together on her lap.
'If me and Aiden are to return, would it be best to bring the others along? I don't want to put them in any danger. However, do I really want to part ways with them...abandon them? When I return, I don't want to just leave everyone like this, but the threat of Xerio. I have to do my duty above all else...it's not going to be easy to leave them...but I can't endanger everyone's lives. Gwen, Lenard, Carac, Thea....I don't know what else to say.'
Arianna begins to play with her thumbs, her eyes sadden.
'...I wonder how Lief is doing. He said he wanted to become...stronger. Does he really think he can help us. I know he means well and I appreciate his concern, but there is a lot of things going on, but he speaks as if he can take it all back, all on his own. Maybe that's not what he meant, but it sounded as such. Oh I don't know, my thoughts are all just really mixed up right now, there's so much on my mind and I can't focus. I just know I miss Lief. I hope he's alright, I hope he's safe. If I just had one wish right now...I wish I could see him again, to see his face. Lief..."
Arianna closes her eyes.
She hears footsteps coming towards her though she chooses to ignore them, 'One of the villagers.' she thinks to herself. As the footsteps approach, she begins to sense something unusual.
'Uh, what is that?'
She opens her eyes and looks up to spots a blurry silhouette of a person walking towards her slowly. As he approaches, his body beginning to take shape. A young man with blonde hair stopping just at his shoulders that conceals his eyes. He raises his head revealing his green eyes reflecting in the sun. Arianna sees the young man's face, seeing his smile. Her eyes widen and her mouth opens in surprise. She recognizes nearly instantly who the person before her is.
"Lief." she says in a low voice.
Lief approaches Arianna and stands before her.
"Hey." says Lief with a smile.
Arianna's face brightens as she slowly smiles a wide smile. She hops up off the bench and looks into Lief's eyes. She closes her mouth and squints her eyes, rushing into Lief's arms, she embraces him.
Lief lifts up Arianna and spins her around several times before placing her back down,. Both close their eyes as they continue to embrace one another.
"Missed you, Arianna...a lot."
"I missed you too, Lief."
The two release the other, still holding onto the others' arms.
"I can feel it Lief, you're different. You're much stronger, much more...I can't explain it."
"Much more Lief?" he asks sarcastically with a smile.
"Yeah." replies Arianna with a smile.
Lief and Arianna take a seat on the bench, looking off into the distance for a moment before looking back to each other.
"How are you, Lief? How have you been?"
"I'm good, happy to be home to everyone! What are you doing out here all by yourself?"
"Just thinking about life, of Razala and you. I needed to clear my head."
"I see, are you alright?"
"Yes, now I am. I had one of those moments when I was questioning certain things around me, but I feel that they will work out."
"Yes, yes they will. There's so much I want to tell you, so many things I've experienced during the last few months."
Lief stands up and turns to Arianna. He extends a hand to her.
"Come with me." he says with a smile.
Arianna holds her hands close to her chest and looks at Lief shyly. She takes one of her hands and places it on Lief's, he pulls her gently up off the bench.
"Let's go." says Lief.
Arianna and Lief walk off the grassy hill holding hands. As they depart , the sun fades in the distance.
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