Disconnected – Chapter 35: Twist & Turn of Fate (pt.5)

She looks on blankly, a dramatic amalgamation of shattering glass and thunder resounding inside her head. In a daze, she nearly leaves herself on autopilot as she blurts without thinking,

“We’re not your buddies.”

It sounds rude, but she soon follows up with an exaggerated expression of disgust as she scrunches her nose, thus lessening the potential negative impact on the young Wyrms. After all, they like Arlia enough to want to keep him.

One of the most important lessons of life is to fight a cringe-worthy kid with an equal amount of clownery!

Plus, Serein felt the need to keep the facts straight on that matter as this boy seems to love treating people with very friendly manners. However, it seems like Arlia is getting used to this whole ‘bark and no bite’ situation she’s been pulling on him since their meeting on this ship.

He doesn’t seem to get fazed anymore.

and instead, he starts to smile, which, in Serein’s view, looks as cheeky as untouched cheese that makes you want to pound for no reason.

God forbid, she needs to restrain her fist before doing something she shouldn’t–

“Oh, come on, why so prickly? You’ll get wrinkles on your pretty face if you keep frowning like that.”

Whereas, it only makes her scowl get even more defined instead, making the perpetrator of that expression laugh heartily.

“Aish, Annekin, no need to be so tough. I’m not going to rob you or anything,” he says with an atmosphere as lighthearted as early morning dew, making Serein’s eyes twitch. “We’re just fellow travelers on the same boat, aren’t we? Clearly, nothing else is happening here.”

Which, an outsider normally would have thought so. Just a party of travelers crossing paths with one of their kind, but, given the fact that she already knows the script that’s rolling over, Serein can’t exactly hold the same sentiment.

Plus…

‘Why did he phrase it like that?’

While sporting a pure smile, he contrastingly mentioned something so ominous to be called innocent. It’s as if he’s emphasizing something, although she isn’t sure what that thing was, she couldn’t pinpoint it.

It feels rather portentous to be left alone, but since Serein can’t figure it out just yet, she’s trying her best to memorize this exact phrase until later when she can probably write it down or do something to keep this info from fading away off her memory before she could decipher it.

Though, it seems like she isn’t the only one who picked up on the oddity of this line.

“What do you know?”

Short in his question, Cevahir, despite sounding relaxed, has his eyes sharpened on Arlia. Even Sam and Pam seem to straighten their bodies as if ready to react, responding to the alarm in their big brother’s tone.

However, the teen only gets to smile when another voice seems to greet them. It was unexpectedly a familiar voice for their small crowd.

“Arls?” That voice called out from a short distance, “Is that you, man?”

Turning around to see the shocked expression of Gil, Serein mirrors the surprise on her own face though obviously, it’s for a very different reason.

‘He knows Arlia??’

She feels like experiencing another plot twist in real life when in reality, it’s not even the icing on the cake just yet.

“What are you doing here, Annikin? And uh…”

Confusion turns into awkwardness as his eyes land on the empty space where Gil’s missing leg is supposed to be. Serein, who’s still not understanding about these ‘Annekin’ and ‘Annikin’ that Arlia has been referring to herself and Gil, can at least draw a simple conclusion from this short interaction.

‘It’s not that Gil knows him from random place–’

Their conversation holds some ‘familiar vibe’ in the air, which people won’t normally have by talking to passing strangers.

‘They’ve known each other for some time.’

And as if confirming her speculation, Gil, who is behind Cevahir, joins the flock, and of course not forgetting the respectful distance and light bow towards the three dragons.

“Well, as you can see, I’m still alive.”

A quick answer which makes the teen chuckle before nodding in understanding.

“It’s been so long, Annikin. I’m actually on my way to meet you~ Such luck that we meet each other here!”

The two young men then face each other and share some words. Although, a soft sound coming from one of her palms then took her by surprise.

“Lies.”

With a voice barely above a whisper, Sam says with his tail raised a bit taller and his gaze that went sharper while looking at the teen.

‘Oh right,’ Serein nearly blinks comically as she remembers this point, ‘They can somehow detect lies.’

Now, the only issue here is: which part of what Arlia just said is the lie?

Remembering the event she has with these two, Serein knows neither Sam nor Pam can point out her lies regarding her identity. They just knew that she wasn’t telling the truth.

“—Only this time tho,” As if giving a follow-up to what his older brother just said, Pam added with bits of confusion in his tone, “He’s not continuing?”

Glancing at the conversing duo, however, the said teen is still chatting with the one-legged knight. Rather lively too, if she must say.

‘So, the fact that they know each other is not a lie,’ One point ruled out, she’s hunting for others.

‘Neither of the dragons reacted when he talks about him starting a long journey, so it can’t be that either,’ She recalled a bit of their conversation earlier, ‘Some other points on how he’s confident on dealing some humans, the confusion when Cevahir referred to his Archaic relic, and that talk about how he can’t see spirits are most likely the truth then.”

—including the part when he found her and Cevahir-min attractive, but she doesn’t want to acknowledge that cringy part.

{Ah. Little girl, about this punk. There’s something I need to warn yo—}

While she was pondering over what could have been the lies, Aiston’s voice appeared in her head once more.

‘yeah? what is it– hey?’

She’s trying and hoping for the Ancient Spirit to tell her what he’s talking about, but it seems that making his voice heard to Serein drains his power too much, there are even some faint static noises as if he’s trying to say something but could barely be heard. Still, it’s truly disgruntling how he leaves her hanging with too cryptic of a sentence.

It was at that moment that Gil returned to them after catching up a bit with Arlia, which, once again, unexpectedly an acquaintance or even, a friend of the MC.

‘Perhaps saving Gil is what made this situation completely unavoidable, how ironic.’ —Not that she regrets doing it, despite the disturbing intrusion of thoughts she had about the knight earlier, Serein never truly regrets her decision up until now.

In the meantime, while there’s part of her that thinks of this possibility, the brunet in question returned to his own party members to pass the news that their food should be fully cooked now.

And by food, he meant fishes and sea creatures including some squid Cherry caught after seeing Cevahir testing out some of his own magic due to boredom.

That half-dragon didn’t find anything better to do and the young mage seemed ecstatic to even use her magic near this great being, to the point that she didn’t even realize how much she caught.

“There is a sufficient amount of fish to feed a village even after giving enough to the pirates,” Gil informed before then following with how the pirates praise the disguised princess with the title of the Sea Queen.

Which is kinda hilarious and hard to not laugh at. In fact, the two young wyrms giggled over it while Cevahir shook his head.

“Aish, she seemed to overdone herself,” Serein commented instead of the half-dragon, despite not knowing about this unfolding occurrence just a moment ago.

“Is pink human ok tho?” although still giggling a bit, Pam asked the knight with a hint of worry in his voice.

“She is. She actually told me to fetch you because the dinner is almost ready.”

Cevahir hummed, “Right, that girl went all sparkly about cooking what she caught.”

To which, Gil actually smiled before then responding to that, “she’s always been so excited to cook her hun—”

– grooooowl…

Interrupted by the growl, they then turned to the one responsible for the noise. It was the sound of someone’s stomach roaring in protest as if the owner forgets about their meals for several days and nights. And with a sheepish grin on display, Arlia scratched his flushed cheek embarrassedly.

“Would you wanna eat with us, Lia?” Friendly as he has always been, hearing how hungry the human was, and knowing the fact that they have a lot of food, Pam offered, although the name calling got the teen blinked.

“Pfffft—”

While Serein couldn’t hold her snort at the sudden twist of event, that dark-haired teen pointed at his own nose, the shock on his face was contrasting the bright smile on the greenish-blue wyrm’s.

“…Lia?” His dry question was answered with an adorable chirp of the youngest.

“Yes! Your name is Arlia, right? It’s too long– so Lia for a nickname! Cool isn’t it?”

He was asking no one in particular, but being a great supportive brother that he is, Sam nodded and immediately agreed to that, “it is.” Whilst grinning, the older wyrm nodded, “it is definitely a cool nickname.”

And upon the verbal approval, Pam only gets even more excited and thus, Arlia loses his chance to get away from this. Or at least if the calling came from any of the three dragons.

‘Gosh, he looked so dejected’

Serein muses at the comical expression that replaced the cheekiness on the young MC expression at the moment. Meanwhile, glancing at the two males, one dragon and one human, next to the teen, she could also see how they both were just as amused as Sam and herself.

His reaction actually gets even more animated when Pam pouted at him, “what? You don’t like the name I give you? Guess you not friends the–”

“No no no! Wait! I really really like it! It’s just uh. It’s uh… it sounded like my sister’s name?”

“Liar.”

Being shot down almost immediately, Arlia sulked a bit, “well, okay. So, uh.” Fidgeting a bit, however, he doesn’t seem to back down yet, “it’s not that I disliked the name. But where I came from, Lia is a girl’s name…?”

This time, neither of the two wyrms exposed him as a liar, however, Sam seemed like he’s having his own share of fun since he looked rather smug when he chimed in.

“What’s about having a girl’s name? Does it matter as long as it’s still a human’s name?”

‘Technically, that’s true—’ Serein doesn’t dare to tell the blue-eyed wyrm that the names Sam and Pam are also human names, instead of any traditional draconic name. Especially not with Cevahir eyeing her knowingly like that…

It was clear who had named these two hatchlings. And given that Cevahir is still considered a dragon despite being a half-blood, no one dares to say a word to oppose him.

And yes. That includes Arlia himself who can only nodded bitterly before then making up a smile which looks awkward instead.

“Well, alright the—”

– CRASH!

‘Just what in tarnation…!!!’

Pulling both of the hatchlings, who now have turned invisible again, so that they won’t fall, another harsh coalition commenced. Whereas, following with the series of loud noises and the shake of the whole ship, a yell was heard.

it was one of the pirates telling them that a herd of sea monsters was coming their way.

“Well, shit.”

She has been so preoccupied with this meeting with the story’s MC that she has temporarily overlooked this dreadful fate that has been written in her own line of life.

Screw being mindful with this teen–

‘If I can’t survive this, there’s no reason for me to worry about the future, fucked up or not’

So, now, first and foremost, she must focus on getting away from her own destined death…

Author Note: Heyya folks! Anemic Bunnicula here~! Here goes another update for the week! Hope you all would enjoy it, and I’ll see you again in the next chapter, Chao~!

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