The sun's shining through the gaps in the curtains, a small fan running in one corner blowing cool air all around the small room, and water drips unto the sink every couple of seconds. On the bed in the corner of this small room, lies a young women. A blanket covers her from her feet to her chest which rises every time she breaths in her sleep. Seeing her peaceful sleeping face, one wouldn't imagine the harshness she have been through just the other night.
Slowly, the long haired girl opens her eyes. Grey ceiling; that's the first thing she sees. Her body feels heavy and her head is aching. She turns her head carefully to see around. Although she can't see quite well after just waking up, she know this is not a place she know. And when her consciousness finally come fully to her, she feels sharp pains on her abdomen and left arm.
Using her right arm as support, she slowly rises her upper body and sit straight. With every movement that involve her chest and stomach, sharp pains strike her. When she finally sitting up right, she moves back to lean to the frame of the bed. She can't believe how painful and tiresome it was only for sitting up. She starts to breath a little heavy, although in short moment she seems able to control it.
When the pains receded, she turns her eyes toward her left arm. It's covered in white bandages and can't be moved freely; not that she wants to move it since it's really hurt to just moves it slightly. It seems there's a long, thin and hard thing inside the bandages that prevents her arm to move freely. A splint. Judging from the treatment and the degree of the pain every time she move her left arm, she's guessing her left arm is broken.
The girl's red ruby colored eyes then notices that she's wearing something unfamiliar to her. It's not her clothes that she wore that night. It's a simple sleeping robe with sky blue color. Underneath is her body wrapped in bandages with some pinkish stains on it. On the floor besides the bed are piles of bandages and cottons, stained red with what seems like blood.
She lifts her face and gazes around the small room; the bed she's on lies in one corner, a small desk fan is sitting in a short table across the bed on which a closed black laptop rested, a sink and stove are occupying the area on the other side of the table with a small fridge standing below the sink, the door that seems to lead to outside lies facing the door. There's also a small door with frosted glass near the sink and stove and a sliding door between the table and the sink. A small curtained windows decorates the wall between the bed and table. The room is small and simple, yet doesn't feel cramped. All of the stuffs are sticking to the sides of the room, giving quite a comfortable space in the middle of the room.
The girl notices her belongings are here in the room. Her big scythe that usually act as proof of identity leaning to the wall and supported by the end of the bed while her now ruined and bloody clothes can be seen hanging out from the sink. Between her wounds, piles of bloody bandages, and her belongings in the room, she suspects that whoever own the room was tending her wound.
The entrance door unlocks. The girl's view now locked to the opening door. That must be the one who own the room which also the one who takes care of her. Who is this person, she wonders. Is it someone she know? That seems impossible since she doesn't recall she has acquaintance who resides in this realm known as Earthrealm for the time being. But, if it's a stranger, why would this person save her? Her head is full of questions about the owner of the room. Her chest is hurting a bit as her heart pounding in uncertainty.
"Hm? So, you're awake."
A guy with red jacket enters the room and notices the sleeping beauty is already wake up. He closes the door behind him and takes off his shoes before proceed further. A particularly conspicuous bright pink scarf which shields his neck oddly matched with his red jacket and white shirt underneath. On his right shoulder a black backpack is hanging on one strap which is supported with his right hand.
"Do you speak English?" The man walks across the room towards the window while asking. He throws a short glance when he walk passes the sitting girl; their eyes meets for a fraction of a second.
"Fortunately, yes," the girl answers as she's trying to avoid the gaze of a pair of almond colored eyes. She felt a slight discomfort when their eyes met. Not because she felt something malicious or not right from his eyes, rather it's because his eyes are oddly soothing. She's not really accustomed with that kind of gaze and couldn't help but instinctively avoid them.
"Good," the man replies as he puts down his backpack besides the bed under the window. The calming orange light of the setting sun pouring into the small room as he opens the curtains. The girl now can see the man clearly; his swept back black hair, a toothpick resting between his lips, and his calm expression.
"Then we won't have problem talking. My Rigoni is rusty, after all."
The girl's eyes widen as she heard the word 'Rigoni' and turns her head facing the man. Her face is clearly one that is shocked. Rigoni, after all, is not a word that should be known by resident of this realm.
"You.... know Rigoni?" The girl asks.
Not amused, the man walks toward the sink. "I used to speak it, yes," he takes one upside down glass and pours water into it, "and the fact that you are a demon is also known to me."
"Wha..!" The girl is surprised by that man statement. She's unwittingly tries to jump out of the bed in her surprise which sends a huge amount of pains all across her body and prompts her to fall back to the bed moaning in pain.
"Calm down," the man, who's now already on the side of the bed, bends over and offering a glass of water to the writhing girl, "You'll worsen your wounds."
Still surprised, the demon girl keeps her eyes on the man, ignoring the water. Her face shows obvious disbelief. It's her first time in Earthrealm and she never expected to meet a human who has knowledge of realm other than Earthrealm.
"Well, if you're not thirsty, suit yourself."
"Ah!" Realizing that her throat and mouth are very dry, the girl unwittingly shouts and extend her left hand towards the man with a glass of water as he turns and starts to walk away. She abruptly withdraws her hand and avoids the man's gaze when he peeks over his shoulder.
"Drink this. You need it," the man shoves the glass in front of her face. Seeing the water waves in front of her eyes makes her more conscious of her thirst. Slowly, the girl reaches and grabs the glass and drinks it hesitantly.
"Good. Feel better?" The man asks as he takes the now empty glass from the girl's hand. She answers with one simple nod.
Silence fills the room while the man puts the glass to the sink and cleans it. He then proceed to takes some vegetables and meats from the little fridge and starts cutting them on the surface near the stove in silence. The situation in that small room feels very awkward.
"Um," the girl decides to break the silence, "How do you know I'm a demon?"
"I've met demons before." He answers without taking his eyes off the cutting board.
"But, isn't my appearance not differs from human?"
"True, but you can't hide that distinctive scent."
"I thought human can't do that." The demon girl's surprised. From what she knows, human's sense of smell shouldn't be able to catch that kind of scent.
"Well, let's just say I'm sort of different than your ordinary human."
"...Are you the one who treated my wounds?"
"Well... Neizere (thank you). Thanks, I guess."
"What's your name?"
"Aqua. Aqua del Briginnest."
The man's cutting stops. He looks at the big scythe leaning at the wall near the end of the bed, "Aqua of the Briginnest family. Add that with your possession, you must be a royal blood. A princess perhaps?"
The pretty demon named Aqua stunned. Her reaction to the man's words is enough to answer his question.
"I'm amazed. You know a lot about us demons." Though she's more surprised than amazed. This particular human can correctly guess her nobility simply from her name and weapon. She's almost convinced he's a demon if not because of his distinct human scent.
"What?" Aqua frowns since that doesn't looks like an English word that she knows about.
"That's my name."
"Ah, I see. I offer you my thanks again, Ren."
"Neizerein (you're welcome)."
"Well, you do speak Rigoni."
"Like I said, rusty." Ren takes a pot from inside his closet behind the sliding door, fills it with water, drops all the chopped ingredients inside, and boils it on the stove.
"These bandages..." Aqua lays her eyes on the piles of bloody bandages on the floor.
Ren, who now just waiting the pot to boils, turns and leans to the surface near the stove, "Yours. You were bleeding so much that your bandages need to be changed several times."
"I... see." As she hears that, something crosses Aqua's mind which starts to redden her cheeks.
"Did... did you... saw...?" If Ren's the one who treated her wounds and wrapped the bandages on her, that means he saw her in her birthday suit.
"Don't worry. I'm not into flat chested girl."
Out of nowhere, a pillow flies straight to Ren's face. It was thrown by Aqua despite the pain to do so. Her face is now bright red and looks angry and embarrassed. Being seen naked is embarrassing, but being told that he's not aroused by her naked body is really humiliating.
"No, wait! Wait! I'm just kidding!"
"Well, I did see your, um, naked body, but only when I gave you first aid," Ren averts his gaze, "My sister helped me change the bandages. I couldn't do it right while looking at you undressed. No man could."
Aqua stays still. She doesn't know whether to feel glad that he was affected by her naked body or embarrassed that he saw her naked body. Her face's still red and her breath is heavy which somewhat hurting her wounds on her chest.
Still not facing Aqua, Ren peeks from the edge of his eyes. Noticing something, he approaches Aqua which makes her flinches as her mind's still full of the thought of her naked body being seen.
"Here," Ren's hand offers a handkerchief to which Aqua shows confused look.
"I.. I don't need one."
"Wipe those tears."
"Tears? What te-" suddenly Aqua realizes that unknown to her, her tears starts flowing out. It's from a combination of embarrassment and pain. Aqua quickly grabs the handkerchief and wipe her tears in silence.
"Sorry. I.. didn't mean to," Ren apologizes.
"...That's really mean, especially for a stranger."
Ren exhales and walks toward the now boiling pot. He takes out a small box from the closet and put the content into the boiling water and stirs it.
"So, your sister helped me too. I need to give my thanks to her," said Aqua.
"I'll pass it to her. But if you want to say it directly, she won't be around for a while so you need to wait."
"So, what's a princess from Demonrealm doing here?" Ren finally asks the question that has been haunting him for a while.
"That's a good question actually," Aqua replies, "There was reports about strange thick black mist appearing on several parts of Gharm, my kingdom. I stumbled across the black mist on my trip. I was curious and decided to check it. The mist engulfed me, and the next thing I know I was already in Earthrealm."
"That's unusual. Usually it needs special measure to travel between the realms."
"What about the demon that attacked you? Judging from your title as a princess and the speed of your recovery, I don't think that demon would give you problem."
Aqua averts her gaze.
"I was careless, I guess. That demon? From the scent I recognized that's a demon from my kingdom. A zelve. I encountered it right after I arrived on Earthrealm."
"The type of demon that act on instinct, right? Just like animal in Earthrealm," Ren cuts. He never really thought that these kind of knowledge would be used in a way. Aqua looks amazed by this.
"I am impressed yet again," Aqua smiles. "Raygn, demons that have consciousness like me and perhaps the one who taught you all that, have a powerful control over zelve especially one from the same kingdom."
"But this one won't hear your commands and attacked you instead."
"Correct. I was caught off-guard and wasn't ready. The next thing I know I already in this room," Aqua sighs.
"That's must be though," Ren suddenly appears on the bed's side with a plate of food on his hand. Aqua didn't notice that while she's telling her story Ren already finished whatever he was making. He takes a seat on the bed where Aqua is lying. Still not really sure what to think of this man, Aqua slides away slightly from him.
"Here. You need something to eat. Can you eat by yourself?" Ren offers a plate of food to Aqua. It's a rice with some vegetables and meats covered with some thick brown sauce that Aqua not familiar with.
"What is this?"
"Well, thanks for mentioning the obvious! I mean, what is this dish?"
"It's curry. Usually it's spicy, but this one is mild in case you can't eat spicy food."
"Thanks for the thought, but I've no problem with spicy food."
"Well? Need some help?"
"Are you mocking me? I can eat by myself!" Aqua snatches the plate from Ren's hand. For a second, she doesn't move. She just remembers that she can't use her left hand. That's why Ren was offering help. But, her pride won't let her to accept the offer that she has rejected. She puts the plate on her lap which obviously not really level and quite far from her mouth. With the wounds on her chest, Aqua finds it hard to bends forward to avoid the curry sauce drips and stains her clothes and blanket. Plus, the plate is hot, making it difficult to sit still with that on her lap.
She tries to scoops a spoon, but without something to hold back the plate, the plate starts to moving on her lap. She use her spoon more slowly, but that makes it hard to scoop the rice. When she finally able to get rice on her spoon, although in a small amount, she smiles a bit as if she has won some battle. That feeling of victory falls short when some of the curry sauce about to drips and she instinctively move the spoon to over the plate so the sauce falls to it. Sadly, all the content of the spoon falls back to the plate.
Somewhat annoyed with the trouble she's in, she takes a glance to Ren. He sits there in silence looking at Aqua, expressionless.
"Come on!" Aqua thinks, "Why don't you offering another help?" If he offers her his help, she would take it. But, even after looking at that failure of scooping her food, Ren doesn't budge. He just sits, looks, and makes no sound. It's as if he's telling Aqua to prove to him that she doesn't need his help. That thought makes Aqua more annoyed. She takes the challenge. Numerous time Aqua tries to scoop her dinner to no avail. Yet, she can't help to keep trying to keeps her pride.
After 10 full minutes without any progress, and without any single word from Ren, Aqua gives up. She puts down the spoon and looks at Ren. He's still looking at her. Ten minutes seeing a girl struggles to get a spoon of food, yet Ren's not offering his help at all. Aqua averts her eyes to avoid his face. She bits her lip, not really sure if she wants to do this. And then, it comes out from her mouth, "Could... could you help me?"
She did it. Swallowing her high pride, she asks Ren for his help. Asking help from someone whose help offer has already rejected; that's something that she really doesn't want to do. Her eyes looking away from Ren. Judging from his reaction, which is none, from the last 10 minutes makes her skeptical that Ren will help. She's ready to be mocked and teased.
Then she feels her plate lifted from her lap. When she turns to Ren, a full spoon is already in front of her. Ren's holding the plate and now spoon-feeding her. Like before, his face doesn't really say anything. The sudden and expected action surprised Aqua. She looks at Ren with red face and not really know how to respond.
"Wa... wait! I-I can eat by myself. I just need your help to hold the-the-the plate," Aqua stutters.
"I insist," Ren's reply is short and right to the point.
"B-b-but.." Aqua tries to refuse, but Ren doesn't budge. He stays still with his hand holding a spoon of curry rice in front of Aqua's face. Ren's eyes stare right into Aqua's. That look he gives her makes Aqua uneasy.
Reluctantly, she slowly opens her mouth which immediately fed by Ren with a spoonful of curry rice. Aqua feels embarrassed to be fed, but it soon diminished as the curry spreads its rich flavor in her mouth. This is her first time eating Earthrealm's food and she immediately glad that she's able to be here. She never tasted anything like that before. The flavor is rich and a little hot. It makes her wants more.
"It's... delicious," says Aqua.
"Good," and then, for the first time since Aqua met him, Ren smiles. She's stunned; his smile is gentle and feels warm. All of sudden, he gives off a different air than before. He feels far gentler than Aqua has been thinking.
Not knowing how to react with that unexpected revelation, Aqua averts her eyes slightly. Ren then gives another spoonful which Aqua takes without any hesitation. And for the rest of dinner, the room watches the two of them who are not letting out a single word.
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