Thank you all for voting! Here, I present you with my latest work!


A #felannie thread with the theme of FF7Remake and a BONUS: each part will have a designated SONG! Be sure to listen while reading!

Dedicated to the wonderful @Virgichuu
Part I -

"Hey, are you lost?"

Felix turns his head, locking on a pair of big, blue eyes.

Bathed under the shining, shimmering lights from the streetlamps was a tiny florist with an impressive smile.
Her bright sunset locks, flowing beautifully in gentle, warm curls to her small shoulders, caught his attention instantly.

Her button-up orange jacket hugged her dainty white and blue dress, with a brilliant blue ribbon to complete her charming look.

"Here. Take this."
Frowning, Felix fixes his sights to the yellow flower she is offering him.

"How much?"

"Just one coin!"

Felix nods and starts digging into his pockets. Acquiring his wallet, he offers her the required payment.
A lovely smile spreads across her face, making Felix's heart skip a beat. He stands there, blushing and a bit tongue-tied.

"Here you go, sir!" The florist announces, presenting his purchase.

Felix nods again, gently plucking it out from her hand.
The accidental brush of her touch electrifies him, coursing through his body like wildfire.

"You should get a move on," He urges, his tone of voice sinking into treacherous waters. "If you stay here longer, you might get hurt,"
Arms crossed, he looks the other way. "Look, I'm involved in things. Dangerous things."

"Oh, I'm sure you are," The florist teases, smiling.

"I'm not kidding around," Felix persists, "So, if you could just--"
"Oh, don't you worry!" She cuts him off, waving her hand dismissively. "I may not look like it but I'm very capable of taking care of myself!"

To prove her point, the florist proceeds to flex her growing muscles.
A huge smile is plastered on her face, the burning fire in her eyes solidifying her statement. "Check it! The fruits of my labor!"

Felix bites his bottom lip hard, suppressing the urge to smile.
"If you say so," A pause. "I'd...uh, better get going now," He starts, clearing his throat. "Stay safe, you hear?"

The florist beams.

"Right back at you, sir!" She chirps merrily, cradling her basket close to her chest. "It was nice meeting you!"
With nothing left to say, Felix bids her farewell with a lazy wave, setting off into the dead of night.

~End of Part 1~
Part 2 -

It doesn't take long for Felix to reach the train station in one-piece.

He stands close to a streetlamp, narrowing his eyes in search of the others. From the looks of it, he must've gotten here a bit earlier than expected.
Might as well take a moment to unwind and wait for his next orders to come. From the corner of his eye, he spots a blur of yellow.

Curious, Felix shifts his gaze at the flower he's still holding. He draws it closer to his nose, inhaling the sweet scent and sighing.
The image of the small florist resurfaces from the back of his mind.

He is reminded of her lustrous eyesโ€”eyes so beautiful and full of life, pure and limitless, like the vast blue ocean close to his beloved hometown.
Felix sneaks a glance over his shoulder, to the direction where he once met her.

Instantly, he is reminded of herโ€”her sunset hair, rosy pink cheeks, her vivid, doe-shaped eyes, and the slow curves of her lips unveiling a sweet, gentle smileโ€ฆ
What a strange girl.

Unconsciously, a tiny crack makes itself known.

A roaring thunder resonates overhead, disrupting his train of thoughts.

Looking up, his eyes grew wide as a familiar shadow of a helicopter came fast-approaching.
"Felix! Incoming reinforcements near the train station!" Sylvain's static voice rings loudly in his right earpiece, disrupting his train of thoughts. "Eliminate them if you can!"

Right on cue, roaring noise of spinning blades, and a large shadow comes fast-approaching.
Felix clicks his tongue, sticking the yellow flower under the strap of his right, leather shoulder pad, though careful not to harm it.

"Copy that," He murmurs, and shuts off the earpiece momentarily.

Unsheathing his massive sword, he dives straight into the fray.
๐˜›๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ.
๐˜ˆ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ข ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ช๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด.
๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ, ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ.
๐˜ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ.
๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜บ.
...๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ต ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ธ ๐˜ช๐˜ต.
๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฆ.

~End of Part 2~
Part 3 -

Felix Hugo Fraldarius, EX-Soldier First Class.

Current mercenary and employer to the exiled prince, the proud young leader of the Blue Lions.
A few familiar faces here and there--new friends, old friends, and acquaintances lurking in the deepest Abyss.

He wasn't here to dawdle nor waste his time.

Like everybody else, they were here for a job and nothing more.
To his luck, the whims of fate manage to get him to cross paths again with the prickly boar, his overgrown mutt, the womanizer, and his dead brother's ex-fiancee, all of whom appear to be part of the package deal before his recruitment.
After listening to a brief meeting at the hideout, Felix dismisses himself out the door, heading straight for his rental room in the nearby apartment.

In the past two weeks, this was pretty much his life.

And yet, something felt out of tune.
A missing piece is hidden in the rubble, essential yet invisible to the naked eye. And yet, Felix can't seem to figure it out himself.

He tries to remember the past, the place he calls home and his family...his mother, father, and--
Fleeting memories came flooding, a gale storm ready to devour him whole.

Scorching fire everywhere.

Houses and carriages in the wreckage, all toppling down like dominos.

Screams of agony, pain, ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฉ.
Burning, melting corpses belonging to the young and old.

In the midst of this, a young man in his late teenage years sinks to his knees and collapses on the ground, quivering and breathing rapidly.
Dead eyes and dark, lock hair eerily similar to his own.
Felix seethes under his breath, head throbbing.

โ€œFelix! Wait!โ€

He pauses, furrowing his brows.
Whirling his head, he watches a tall redhead and their silver-haired sniper waving their arms enthusiastically, rushing to catch up with his usual, fast pace walking.

โ€œDude! Where are you going?โ€
โ€œGoing to sleep,โ€ Felix replies somberly, โ€œWe have another task to tackle tomorrow,โ€

Sylvain gasps. โ€œBut itโ€™s only 8 PM!โ€

Felix sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. โ€œI donโ€™t have time for this, you know,โ€
โ€œCome on, man!โ€ Sylvain cries, โ€œDonโ€™t you wanna relive the good old days? You know, back to the time when you and I, Ingrid and His Highness were together, playing around and pretending to be knights--โ€

Felix shoots him a glare, silencing him. โ€œNot interested,โ€ And walks on.
โ€œAt least join us at the tavern,โ€ Ashe pipes in, hoping to pique the mercenaryโ€™s interest. โ€œI know you havenโ€™t eaten supper yet. None of us did, since we came back from the bombing mission--โ€

โ€œAnd a successful one at that!โ€ Sylvain butts in, grinning widely.
Ashe chuckles. โ€œYeah,โ€ He agrees, โ€œSo please consider. If you do, Iโ€™ll go out of my way and make your favorite food!โ€

Sylvain lets out a whistle. โ€œYou hear that, Felix?โ€ He cries, his brown eyes twinkling with hope and excitement.
โ€œAshe here will be treating you with one of his famous gourmet foods! Free of charge!โ€
No response.

โ€œCome on, itโ€™ll be just like the good old times,โ€ Sylvain persists, slinging an arm over his old friendโ€™s neck.
โ€œItโ€™s been...what? Five to six years since weโ€™ve last seen each other?โ€

โ€œSeven years,โ€ Felix corrects lamely.

Sylvain laughs. โ€œExactly! And that alone deserves at least a round of drinks! A reunion and a successful feat! Thatโ€™s more than enough to get down and celebrate!โ€
Felix sighs, rolling his eyes. Knowing Sylvain, he'll keep barraging him with the same question over and over again.

A blast from the past comes to light, and Felix recalls himself as a young child, getting dragged into one of Sylvain's shenanigans.
Tiny fists raised into the air, the two young boys chase each other down with wooden swords. In the background, the boar prince and Ingrid would be there, cheering them on as he and Sylvain continuously clash, wood against wood.
Far from sight, a shadow of a young man keeps watching.

โ€œLike old times, huh?โ€ Felix mumbles softly, but Sylvain hears it.

In response, Sylvain squeezes his right shoulder.
No more words were exchanged as Felix quietly surrendered, letting Ashe and Sylvain take him to the center of the slums, where the rest of their team were all waiting for their arrival.
"By the way, what's up with that flower?" Sylvain suddenly brings up and points to the spot of yellow sticking out of his leather shoulder pad.

Rousing himself from his sleeplike haze, Felix carefully plucks out the flower and simply stares at it.
Sylvain smirks devilishly. โ€œSomeoneโ€™s getting popular,โ€ He teases, nudging the latter.

Felix beets a deep shade of red. โ€œShut up!โ€

โ€œOoh, look at you! Youโ€™re blushing!โ€ Sylvain gushes, laughing away. โ€œAshe, get a load of this!โ€
โ€œSylvain, stop teasing him!โ€ Ashe comes in, staring the redhead down. โ€œNowโ€™s not a good time, you know!โ€

Sylvain sheepishly grins. โ€œAww, come on!โ€ He looks back at Felix who seemingly appears to be lost in his thoughts.
โ€œSo, old bud,โ€ He began, wiggling his eyebrows. โ€œWhoโ€™s the lucky girl, hmm?โ€

Sunset hair.

Striking blue eyes.

A smile that can rival the sun.

โ€œWho is she? Do we know her or what?โ€
Felix furrows his eyebrows. โ€œ...Donโ€™t know,โ€ was all he could say, surprised to find himself slightly disappointed.

Thatโ€™s right. He never got to ask for her name. Then again, it was unlikely that they might cross paths again.
She was a girl living in another part of the city, possibly from Sector 8.

He was a boy, a mercenary stationed here at Sector 7 slums for a short amount of time. He kills for money, money that he needs to survive.
After this is all over, maybe he could try and pay a visit to her sometime?

He remembers her standing under the crisp, mellow light of the streetlamp, near the front of the abandoned Loveless theatre.
Again, Felix fights the urge to leak out another goofy smile. His stomach feels a little funny too.

Probably a side-effect for not eating in the afternoon?

Felix looks back up to find Sylvain with a wide smile, waiting eagerly for his answer.
Crossing his arms, he gives him a pointed stare.

โ€œAh, what a nice flower!โ€

Felix switches gears, catching Ashe in the act of examining the flower closely.

โ€œFlowers donโ€™t normally grow here in the slums,โ€ Ashe explains, wide-eyed and beaming in delight.
โ€œLucky you to find something so rare!โ€

โ€œWhat flower is it?โ€ Felix wonders aloud.

โ€œItโ€™s a yellow lily,โ€ Ashe explains right away, his voice surprisingly soft and serene.
โ€œAccording to the language of flowers, these types of lilies are considered to be a symbol of happiness and cheer, conveying the message of remembrance. A reunion you could say. Lovers used to give these to each other when they are reunited,โ€
Felix looks back at the flower in his hand and softens.

โ€œCome on, we better get going!โ€ Sylvain starts, dragging Felix by the neck, quickening his pace. โ€œWho knows if Ingrid already ate half of the gourmet already!โ€
Ashe gasps. โ€œAh! Youโ€™re right!โ€ He dashes ahead to lead the group. โ€œCome on, letโ€™s go!โ€

Grunting in reply, Felix drops his arm, tucking the flower inside his pocket and follows after them.
For the remainder of the night, Felix keeps to himself, preferring to stand clear and away from the crowd, and in the shadows where nobody can see him.
When he was given a chance to get out and take a breather, his first instinct was to pull out his wallet and count the many coins he had left.
๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ-๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ โ€˜๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏโ€™ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต.
๐˜ˆ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด, ๐˜š๐˜บ๐˜ญ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜บ.
๐˜ˆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜บ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ.
๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ช๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ.
๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏโ€™๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ข๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ต. ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บโ€™๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ.
๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ถ๐˜ด. โ€˜๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ˆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜งโ€™ ๐˜‰๐˜บ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. ๐˜•๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜‘๐˜ถ๐˜ฅ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ.
๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด, ๐˜โ€™๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ.
...๐˜๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ?
๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ. ๐˜๐˜ง ๐˜ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜บ, ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜บ ๐˜ด๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.
๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ...
๐˜โ€™๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ.

~End of Part 3~
Part 4 -

All was dark and quiet.

Nobody was around, not even Sylvain and Ingrid to nag him to get up and fight could be heard.

It was...peaceful, soothing.

Felix was finally left alone.

And he wouldnโ€™t have it any other way.
Here, in the darkest of the abyss, was where he belongs. But as he prepares himself for eternal sleep, an unknown force kicks him off the reins.

A voice tells him itโ€™s not โ€˜his turnโ€™ yet, and off he goes, back to the world of the living.
Ever so slowly, Felix flutters his eyes open.

The early morning sunlight, soft and diffuse, nearly blinds him in the process. Rising from the ground, Felix takes a moment to inspect the new environment.
Light naturally filters the scene, starting from the brilliant mosaic glass windows, to the ivy-covered stone walls, and the marble columns towering around him.

It finally dawns to him that heโ€™s inside a church.
And from the looks of the poor stability of the building, it seems to have been abandoned for many years now.

Felix frowns, trying to recall what he could remember.

He and his group finished another mission, nearly costing their lives as the bomb would soon detonate.
The sounds of gunfire heard from afar, the smoky mist engulfing their whole team as they struggle to escape.

A large part of the bridge collapsed, plummeting Felix and a few other stragglers to their supposed deaths.
The painful screams from his friends long gone the minute he entered the void.

Darkness came, and nothing more thereafter.

Now here he was, in the middle of nowhere...inside a church, alone with little to no injuries.
He canโ€™t be dead, right?

And then he hears it.

A ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ.

Warm yet riveting, sweet as nectar and ever so ethereal. Faint yet blooming with vitalityโ€”the sound of heaven.

An angel, maybe?
Felix wordlessly follows the direction of the voice.

His heart pounds harder, singing for joy and delight, utterly enchanted by the magical aria.

Eventually, he makes it to the closed doors and reaches out for the doorknob.

Twisting and turning it, he opens it.
Stepping outside, Felix gets greeted by a bountiful, thriving garden and a cascading waterfall in the distance.
He walks on, slow and steady, taking in everything from the patches of the blue sky visible through the rusty debris, to the colorful, spring flowers and a cluster of butterflies gliding along the rims of the wooden fences.
The scent of nature tickles his nostrils, enveloping him in a warm, invisible embrace.

โ€œOh! Youโ€™re awake!โ€

Felix turns around, surprised to see an older woman with kind, purple eyes, and a long, brown apron.
โ€œYou must be tired. Why donโ€™t you come inside and have some tea?โ€ Her tone of voice was so nurturing, as light as a feather.

Almost like a mother.

Noticing his tense stature, the woman giggles.
โ€œDonโ€™t worry, I promise I wonโ€™t bite,โ€ She guarantees, and guides him through the gardens. โ€œNot much farther now until we reach the house,โ€

"Is this where you live?" Felix blurts out, trailing behind her.
When he gains an assertive nod, he comments how lovely the place is.

The woman smiles. โ€œWhy thank you,โ€

Halfway through the bridge, Felix freezes. He quickly whirls his head the other way, eyes widening. There it was again. The voice.

The woman giggles. โ€œThere she goes,โ€
Felix tips his head, confused. โ€œShe?โ€

The woman smiles with an all-knowing look. โ€œMy adorable little sister Annie,โ€ She clarifies, โ€œShe mustโ€™ve returned early. Probably trying to give the flowers a concert for working hard.โ€
She gives the mercenary a side glance. โ€œWould you like to meet her?โ€

Felix visibly gulps.

The woman releases a light giggle. โ€œPast the hedges and turn right,โ€ She instructs, pointing her finger to the first destination. โ€œKeep going straight and there, youโ€™ll find her,โ€
Felix nods curtly. "Thanks," And advances on.

This time, he listens to his heart and lets his conscience be his guide.

Past these hedges.

Turn your right.

Keep going, no looking back.

One step, two steps.

Three steps, four steps.
A stretch of grassland comes into view, an array of colorful flowers in full bloom. At the epicenter of this was the bewitching muse herselfโ€”flames of citrus-colored hair, eyes matching the boundless sky and sea, in a white, flowing dress accentuated with blue and orange.
The sun clocks over the horizon and right on time, a beacon of light flickers down, and there, a halo of light is seen to flash round her head.

Truly, an angel in the making.
Thankfully, she doesn't see himโ€”singing a strange song that unsurprisingly fits her jubilant character, prancing and leaping and twirling and spinning with a silver water can.
๐™‡๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™™๐™–๐™ง๐™  ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™—๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™›๐™ง๐™ž๐™œ๐™ž๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ก๐™™~~

๐˜พ๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™œ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™–๐™œ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ก๐™™~~
๐™„๐™ฃ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ, ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ชโ€™๐™ง๐™š ๐™™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™ง๐™–๐™˜๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ก๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ~~

๐™‹๐™ช๐™จ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™œ๐™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™–๐™ฌ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ~~
Her serenade was simply breathtaking.

He couldn't take his eyes off of her.

Felix blinks quickly now and then, watching her performance intensely, and wishing to burn it into memory.
๐™ƒ๐™€๐™๐™€! ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฎ, ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ, ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ~

๐™‰๐™Š๐™’! ๐˜พ๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฎ, ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ, ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ~
How reckless of him to take a step, unaware that he stepped on a branch.

And just like that, her show came to a bitter end.


Felix flinches, whirling his head in time to see the florist drop her water can and pull out an iron pipe from behind her.
โ€œY-you! What are you doing here?โ€

Cheeks flustered, Felix ducks his head in embarrassment.


Oh no, what does he say?

โ€œYouโ€™ve got...some nice footwork,โ€ He babbles aloud, mentally facepalming himself for sounding like an idiot.
Annette puffs her cheeks. โ€œItโ€™s rude to be spying on other people while theyโ€™re singing!โ€ She scowls, putting her hands on her hips. โ€œItโ€™s not right, you know!โ€

Felix opens his mouth, but the words get clogged up in his throat.
The silence drags on, and Felix remains perfectly stiff and awkward.

On the other side, the florist reclaims her dropped water can, sighing and shaking her head at the mess she'd caused.
โ€œThis is so embarrassing,โ€ The florist groans, covering her reddened face. โ€œAnd of course, I was singing about some silly food song I made up! I shouldโ€™ve been singing about...bears! Or swamp beasties!โ€
Hearing this sparked Felixโ€™s interest. โ€œHuh. Didnโ€™t realize there were songs about bears or swamp beasties,โ€

Her reaction was priceless.

Her face still red, the florist tries hard (but inevitably fails) to flash him a death glare. โ€œOoooh! YOU are the worst!โ€
And Felix ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ด.

The florist watches him, mortified and ever more bashful. โ€œYou are evil! Evil, I say!โ€ She whines, puffing her cheeks. She turns the other way, refusing to look at him.

The laughter ceases, and Felix sighs.
He checks the distance between them, making a mental note to give her some space.

โ€œLook, I didnโ€™t mean to scare you like that,โ€ He says, a little out of breath. โ€œItโ€™s justโ€ฆโ€ And then he stops, scratching the back of his head as he scrambles for more words.
The florist cocks an eyebrow. โ€œJust what?โ€ She spats out, "What are you here for anyway?"

๐˜›๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ.

Frowning, Felix shakes away his thoughts and lets the silence take his place for the time being.
He isn't much of a talker, barely having the energy to make some small talk and that's it.

But with her...somehow, he can't help but want to at least tryโ€”and hopefully get to know her better.

Wasn't that what he was here for?
While pondering, his hand naturally slides to one of his pockets.

Something clicks in his head, and slowly, he fishes out a slightly crumpled yellow flower, the same one heโ€™d bought from her.

โ€œWait. That flowerโ€ฆโ€
Felix refocuses his sights on the florist who stares at the flower in his hand, then lifts her chin a little, sharing his eye level.

โ€œHave we met before?โ€

Felix swallows deeply. โ€œWe have,โ€ He croaks out.
The florist narrows her eyes, frowning. A loud gasp escapes from her. โ€œOh, Seiros! Thatโ€™s right! The grumpy swordsman who bought my flowers!โ€ She suddenly cries, eyes widening. โ€œThat was you, right?โ€

โ€œYeah,โ€ Felix confirms dryly. โ€œAnd youโ€™re the flower girl,โ€
The florist nods and sheepishly grins. "Wow, so we meet again. Crazy, huh?"

โ€œYou could say that,โ€ Felix crosses into the field of flowers, outstretching his hand for her to take. โ€œThe nameโ€™s Felix by the way,โ€ He introduces himself, eyes boring into hers. โ€œYou must be Annie,โ€
Covering her mouth, the florist bursts into a fit of giggles.

Felix gives her a weird look. Did he say something wrong?

โ€œIโ€™m guessing you met Mercie early on,โ€ She says with the shake of her head. โ€œGood guess, but itโ€™s Annette.โ€
Stepping out of her comfort zone, she graciously accepts his hand, shaking it. โ€œItโ€™s nice to finally meet you!โ€

Felix nods firmly. โ€œSame here,โ€

And though she doesnโ€™t see it, itโ€™s thereโ€”the sprouting of a tiny, cracked smile, meant just for her.
๐˜ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ. ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜š๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ 5 ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ถ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต, ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ. ๐˜ˆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜บ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ช๐˜ต.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜บ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด.
๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฌ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ ๐˜ฒ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ. ๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฅ.
๐˜š๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ'๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ. ๐˜š๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ'๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฅ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ, ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ. ๐˜Š๐˜ข๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต.
๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ...๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ.
~End of Part 4~
Part 5 -

Like her character, Annetteโ€™s life was as carefree as he imagines it to be.

His childhood upbringingโ€”soaked with blood, failures, and trauma was nothing in comparison with hers.
As he withers in the cold shadows, under the watchful eyes of the moon, Annette is thriving brilliantly under the warm beacon of the sun.

While he prefers to shut people away, she welcomes them openly.
A man of action, of few words, and on a missionโ€”a wolf prowling in the darkness, waiting to catch his prey.

A woman of her word with a mighty heart, mind, and voiceโ€”a songbird, small but gifted, spreading joy to the world.

While he resents and regrets, she forgives and forgets
Like fire and rain, they are mere opposites of one another.

Each walking down different paths in life, and yet somehow, they meet up by chance in the cold streets of Sector 8.
And for the first time, Felix lowers his guard, savoring the little bits of happiness he could get as she tours him around her district while posing as her bodyguard.
It was brief and fleeting, taking nearly the whole day to conclude.
From what he could gather, Annette is quite famous in the area.

In her off days, she would assist the sick and the elderly, volunteer at the local restaurants as the occasional poster girl, and educate the kids at the orphanage, together with her siblings.
Her eldest sister, Mercedes, is a literal saint in both definition and character. With her bright and positive attitude, itโ€™s no surprise how Annette turned out the way she is.

Jeritza, their brother, is a different story.
Unlike his sisters, he is perceptive and brooding. Similar to Mercedes, he has a protective streak, though a bit extreme at times.
Late in the afternoon, while Mercedes and Annette were making supper in the kitchen, Felix finds himself getting dragged out the door and into the front porch.
โ€œYou canโ€™t stay here,โ€ Jeritza presses, careful not to raise his voice lest the others might hear, โ€œTonight, I want you out of my house. No fusses, no questions. And donโ€™t say a word about any of this.โ€
Felix lets his eyes linger to the front door, reminded by the warmth of Annette and her home.

He reverts his gaze to the fuming young blacksmith, remaining unfazed.

โ€œ...Fine, whatever,โ€ He grumbles, โ€œDonโ€™t wanna overstay my welcome anyway,โ€
Jeritza continues to glare at him, unsmiling. "You better keep your word," He deadpanned and trots back inside.

All alone, Felix gives in to the quiet serenity of the night, the thrum of crickets easing his tired mind.
Itโ€™s almost been a whole day since he got separated from his team.

How were they? Did they manage to get out of the building alive?

Was the mission a success?
As much as he wanted to stay here a little longer, to get to know Annette and her family, he knew that this wasnโ€™t right.

She doesnโ€™t belong in his worldโ€”a world so dangerous, selfish, and merciless.
Felix was a mercenary; a job meant to kill anything alive and moving, all for the sake of money.

Such a ghastly lifestyle isnโ€™t suitable nor conformable with someone untainted, ebullient, delicate like Annette.

She deserves more than this.
And he knows it, from the very moment she entered his life.

The picture of Annette crying and bellowing out his name as he walks away from her taunts him, but itโ€™s a risk heโ€™s willing to take, to ensure her safety.

He turns, spotting Annette pop her head out the door. โ€œWhat are you doing out here? Come on! Supperโ€™s ready!โ€

Grunting in reply, Felix joins her insideโ€”returning to the warm solace of the lights, a place so befitting of the word home...
A place where he doesnโ€™t deserve to be.

~End of Part 5~
Part 6 -

As luck would have it, Annette comes to his rescue.

To his dismay (and secret delight), she volunteers to escort him to the gates of Sector 7.
โ€œWhat about your brother and sister?โ€ Felix points out, trying hard to keep his voice low at a bare minimum. โ€œTheyโ€™re gonna get worried, you know,โ€
โ€œOh, Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™ll be fine,โ€ She assures, waving her hand dismissively. โ€œBesides, I canโ€™t just stand here and do nothing! I wanna help as much as I can!โ€ At this, she grins. โ€œI also happen to know the best shortcut to get to where youโ€™re going!โ€
Felix shakes his head. Still, he canโ€™t help but slip out a small smile. โ€œLead the way then,โ€

Fleeing Sector 5, the pair moves to a secret passagewayโ€”"don't tell anyone, cah-peesh?"โ€”and from there, they went their way, teaming up and fighting monster after monster.
On some occasions, there are some lighthearted moments, with Felix failing miserably at high-fiving the adorably pouting florist.
It didnโ€™t take long until he finally got it, and the instant he did, Felix was rewarded with an overflowing wave of smiles, high-fives, undeniably rich and happy laughter from Annette.

His heart swoons over this, reveling over this discovery.
A few hours later and at long last, they made it to their destination.

โ€œWould you look at that? We made it!โ€ Annette exclaims, pointing to the large metal gates nearby.

Spinning around, she runs up to the mercenary, raising her hand high. โ€œUp top, Felix!โ€
Felix scoffs, rolling his eyes. Still, he gives her what she wantsโ€”a simple high-five.

โ€œHey, letโ€™s go and take a break over there!โ€

Looking up, Felix catches sight of a giant elephant slide.
He watches Annette rush off, climbing her way at the top and then beckoning for him to follow after her. โ€œCome on, come on!โ€

Sighing, Felix silently obliges.

He climbs up as well, settling down to take a seat, making sure to create a small space between the two of them.
He hears a light shuffle, alarming him. Daring to take a peek, heโ€™s amazed to see Annette scooting a little closer to him.

"The view here is amazing~"

Felix nods, his eyes on the florist who looks out into the great distance.

Deep, ocean eyes meet his gaze.

Felix turns away, blushing madly. He breathes in deeply, trying to ease his racing heartbeat.

Slowly, he turns his head round to take another look at her.
This time it's her intensely staring and leaning toward him.

Felix freezes completely still.

For some reason, it was becoming harder to breathe.
โ€œYour eyesโ€ฆโ€ Annette began, slightly in a daze, โ€œTheyโ€™re so pretty,โ€

โ€œThanksโ€ฆโ€ Felix manages to say, features softening. Seiros, how bottomless are her eyes? โ€œ...You too,โ€

โ€œWait, what?โ€
โ€œYou...very pretty,โ€

Instantly, Annetteโ€™s entire face blossoms to match the same fiery color as her hair.

โ€œO-oh!โ€ She croaks, sinking her head deeper into the crook of her hoodie. โ€œUmm...t-thank you?โ€
It doesnโ€™t take long until Felix registers the exact words he tells her, and he shrinks away. โ€œMy apologizes, I shouldnโ€™t have saidโ€”โ€

โ€œNo, no, itโ€™s fine! Really!โ€ Annette assures him with another one of her sweet smiles.
Lowering her gaze to her white-mitten gloves, she nibbles her lower lip.

โ€œItโ€™s just wellโ€ฆโ€ She mumbles, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. โ€œNobodyโ€™s ever told me that, ever,โ€

Felix blinks. โ€œReally?โ€
Nodding meekly, there came a tiny fracture of a smile. โ€œUh-huh,โ€ Finally, Annette turns back to look at him. โ€œYou would be the first,โ€

โ€œI just said the truth, is all,โ€ Felix grumbles with a lame shrug.

Annette giggles. "...Thank you,"
Annette nods in return.

Slowly, she rises. "It's almost time for morning," She began, gesturing to the twinkling array of stars fading away, and the promise of a new dawn.
"We should probably get going," She climbs down the staircase with Felix begrudgingly following after her.

โ€œOkay! Right over here!โ€ Annette cries, urging him to get closer to another playground set.

Crouching to her knees, she points to a manhole cover hiding underneath.
โ€œWanna get to Sector 7 in style? Here is the passageway for you!โ€

Back on her feet again, she proceeds to flex her muscles, imitating a victory pose. โ€œAnd there you have it! Operation bring-Felix-to-Sector-7-gates has been accomplished!โ€
Again, her whimsical laughter playfully tickles his ears. Felix smiles at her childlike attitude, letting out a low chuckle.

Then a sinking feeling invades, disrupting the butterflies inside his stomach as he gets hit with harsh reality.

This was the point of no return.
Once he goes into the manhole, he wonโ€™t be able to see the rare majesty of the Sector 5 slums. He wonโ€™t be able to get a taste of Mercedesโ€™s homemade hazelnut soup, nor the fields of flowers going far beyond the stretches of land.
He wonโ€™t be able to pay a visit to the house on the hill anymore, see the buzzing bees zooming by, the fissures of an actual, blue sky.

...He wonโ€™t ever get another high-five.

Not hear another sound of her laughter.
Or the smile he grew so fondly ofโ€”a smile that can only be made by the most beautiful woman heโ€™d ever laid eyes on, the very same one who happens to be right in front of him.

The pair exchanged looks, one smiling sincerely and another smiling sorrowfully.
Annette takes a few steps back, gesturing an arm over to the hidden manhole cover. โ€œGo ahead,โ€

Felix nods firmly, his footsteps getting heavier as he went on.

This canโ€™t be the end of their journey, right?

โ€œYou okay getting home?โ€
Annette tips her head. โ€œAnd if I said I wasnโ€™t?โ€

Right away, Felix steps forward. โ€œIโ€™ll go with you,โ€

Annette crosses her arms, taking a step back. โ€œHey! I thought you needed to get back?โ€
Felix opens his mouth to protest, but she beats him to it.

โ€œDonโ€™t you worry. I have a backup plan for everything, including this one,โ€ She assures, smiling. โ€œAnd itโ€™s safer too!โ€

Hearing this, Felix sighs in relief. He shakes his head, unveiling yet another small smile.
Little by little, his frozen heart was thawing, all because of her.

The thought of letting her go wasโ€ฆ

Felix furrows her eyebrows as he tries hard to find words to describe what exactly he was feeling right now.
He looks up, locking his eyes with hers.

Putting her hands behind her back, Annette jerks her chin to the direction of the manhole cover. โ€œCome on, what are you waiting for?โ€

He stays in place, taking her in and burning it into memory.

He canโ€™t forget her.

He just couldnโ€™t
โ€œYou okay?"

That sad look on her didnโ€™t fit well with her radiance. Could it be because of him?

โ€œWhatโ€™s wrong?โ€ Annette asks, growing worried.
โ€œWhat are you looking at?โ€


Annette blushes. She points to herself. โ€œM-me?โ€
Felix nods firmly. โ€œYeah,โ€ He confirms, as truthfully as he could. โ€œIs that okay with you?โ€

โ€œS-sure,โ€ She stammers, flustering over his strange way with words. โ€œMay I ask why?โ€
A flood of memories of their time togetherโ€”their tour around her neighborhood, their smooth teamwork against the local monsters and Turks, their discussion about the flowers, her unwillingness to be so open and genuine to captivates him.
Itโ€™s barely three days and yet, Felix felt like heโ€™d known her for so long.

Being with her alone made him feel stronger, happier.

...But he knew he couldnโ€™t say that. Not at this moment at least.
โ€œ...I had a good time today, โ€ Felix tells her, turning red. โ€œIt was great to see so many parts of Sector 5 with you,โ€
"That's good," She replies, and though he refuses to look at her, he could hear her smile. "Feel free to drop by whenever you can! If Jeritza allows it, Mercie and I would be sure to cook for you again!"

Felix nods timidly. โ€œIโ€™d like that,โ€
Taking a deep breath, he walks ahead.

โ€œTry not to get into trouble again, you hear?โ€

Annette beams, saluting. "Yes, sir!"

Felix smiles at her optimism. But inside, his heart was breaking.
For now, Felix will comply and return to his world. But deep down, he knew his place was elsewhere, somewhere with her.

And though he may not say it out loud, he silently thanks the four holy saints for this rare opportunity to spend time with her, and go on his merry way.
๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜'๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜บ.
๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณโ€ฆ
๐˜‰๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ...๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜บ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ. ๐˜ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฃ, ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ.
๐˜ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.
๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ... ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ'๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ.
~End of Part 6~
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