v. Search for the perfect gift

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Disclaimer: Art is for Pixiv and the entry was made by overdoor. All credits for this art belongs to them.

Re’a’s character was created by another good friend of mine, Tsuki Hoshiko. Credit goes to her for Re’a.


Arcadian Capital of Regalia, Market Common…

          ‘What should I give her when I see her?’ The young traveling sorcerer slash historian Yuhan thought to himself as he walked across the crowded streets of the Regalia’s Market Common.

          Too lost in his thoughts, Yuhan pondered about what he could give Princess Resha as a gift for her coronation. Of course, it would be embarrassing not to give her anything, considering the fact that he is the son of Sol Academy’s headmaster and he had not seen her for a while. No, he wouldn’t let that happen. He wouldn’t dare embarrass himself in front of the soon to be queen of Arcadia.        

          Yuhan searched inside his bag, rummaging through all his stuff as he tried to find at the very least, a suitable gift for the princess. Sure, he had been traveling from places to places to unravel the mysteries of the Astrid rune, but he never stopped for a bit to look for souvenirs. Heck, if he ever got any souvenirs, that would only be…        

          Books…

          And more books…

       And even more books.

       He let out a sigh in defeat, closing the satchel that hung around his body. Perhaps he could just walk around the stores and look for something. Yes, that would suffice. At least for now. Until he finds something special to give her.

          He was about to leave when he suddenly heard a young lady’s voice called out to him.

          “Yu…?” 

          Turning to see the owner of the voice, Yuhan saw a certain blonde with long, wavy hair tied to her back, standing in front of a souvenir shop. She appeared to be as of the same age as him, albeit younger. She wore a simple white kimono sleeves tucked in red hakama pants, with white strapping to support her back and wooden sandals.

          “When did you get back?” she asked as she let out a smile.       

          “Re’a…” he spoke her name as he came to recognize her. They both were students of Sol Academy and though they may not be what people might call “friends”, they knew about each other. Yuhan, being the son of the headmaster and Re’a, the girl who came to the academy a few years back that spelled like trouble. Well, to Yuhan at least.

          He watched as the lady made her way towards him. “I just got back,” he said in response to her question. His eyes slowly examined the lady before him, noticing the apparent changes in her features. Not much has changed since the last time he saw her, although he did notice that Re’a seemed to be more ladylike, than the first time they met.        

          “What are you doing here?” He inquired as Re’a stopped on her tracks, a few steps from him.

          Re’a chuckled. “Ya know what they say, ya don’t work, ya don’t eat. And gotta pay tuition too, ya know. The academy’s closed down and Miss Karla needed some help at the shop,” she finished as she smiled at him. Today was a big day and every shop owner who paid the sales fee is looking to have vending booths for Princess Resha’s coronation.

          “Ah, that’s right,” he said in agreement with a nod of his head and letting out a chuckle at Re’a’s response. She first came to Sol Academy four years ago and from what she told the Headmaster, she was an orphan and therefore she had been paying her tuition all by herself. That was rather commendable and Yuhan had respected Re’a for that.

          Of course, the academy will be closed for the coronation of the princess. To most people, the peace that the northern part of the Regulus continent was currently enjoying was all thanks to King Lucian’s leadership on the previous war. The armistice, dubbed as the Regulus Cordiale would not have happened without his leadership. It was because of this armistice that Eloria surrendered their military powers and thus eliminating further threats from them. And though Sol Academy has stayed neutral for a long time, the current Headmaster, Yuhan’s father was a good friend of the Arcadian King Lucian.

          One would think that with that kind of connection Headmaster Triskelle shares with the Arcadian King, Yuhan would be able to see the princess more often than the others. But alas, even with that kind of leeway, there was no exception as the fact remains that despite their friendship, she was of royalty and well… he was just a commoner.

          “So, Mr. Historian, I bet you learned a lot of cool stuff in your travels,” she said. “You’d better have some juicy details to share when all this excitement is over.” If there was one thing in common that Yuhan and Re’a shared, it was the interest and enjoyment in learning many things and picking up on many skills.       

          “Depends on what kind of ‘juicy details’ you want to hear,” he commented. He wouldn’t mind sharing what he learned on his travels to Astrea. ”Yes, we can talk about that after all of this is over,” he continued before taking a glance at the store behind Re’a. Catching up with a friend was nice, but he still had to look for a gift for the soon-to-be queen.

          One did not have to be genius to tell that something was bothering the young historian, judging as how restless he looked, glancing back and forth to Re’a and the shop as they conversed. Re’a let out a knowing grin. “Are you looking for a gift?”

          “What…?”

          “A gift for your lover, perhaps?” Re’a teased, her grin growing wider as she narrowed her eyes at Yuhan.

          “What are you talking about?” he responded as he let out a scoff before walking past Re’a and into the souvenir shop she was helping out. He could hear Re’a laughing as if in a victory.

          It was a shop full of items appropriate as gifts and souvenir items made out of Arcadian materials. Dozens of different merchandises were displayed on shelves as some customers checked them out. Yuhan slowly walked around the shop, carefully examining the items they had for sale.

          After a while of walking, his eyes soon caught sight of a simple, yet elegant wristlet decorated with moonlit flowers — flowers that can only be found in Arcadia and only bloom during once every year. The young sorcerer immediately walked over towards the shelf the wristlet was displayed, his eyes never averting from it. Princess Resha would surely like it for a present. He remembered how Resha loved flowers back when they were kids. But then again, that was then and now was different. For all he knows, she could have forgotten about him, considering that he was gone for three years and did not have any contact or communication with her.

          ‘No, no. This should do…’ he thought to himself before picking up the wristlet. Yuhan glanced back to Re’a, a bright smile beamed at her.        

          “Hey, Re’a. How much do you ladies sell this for?”

          “Ah, I knew it. You’re really buying a gift for your lover!” Re’a remarked as she walked towards Yuhan. “Who’s the lucky lady, huh?” she asked, wincing at the rather dumbfounded sorcerer. “Five hundred potch,” she said remembering the price that correlates with the items on display.

          “… Can you stop saying that? I don’t have time for love.”

          But the blonde lady was not even listening to him. “I’ll even let you have it for three since you’re buying it for your lady love,” she continued. She wasn’t in the habit of giving discounts, but then she rarely saw friends at work either and she had enough coins to make up the difference so not to harm Karla’s business by doing so if needed.

          ‘Three hundred potch?!’ Yuhan exclaimed to himself as he examined the present he wanted to give the princess. He assumed that since it was made from a flower that only bloomed once a year during a full moon, the price would be more expensive than that. But then three hundred potch for a rare find? What a deal! But then again, he could only be grateful for Re’a’s generosity. See, he had been traveling for a long time and hadn’t stopped by home yet. It wouldn’t hurt to admit that his funds, well, they were ALMOST gone. Heck, the only money left on him was just the exact amount that Re’a offered him. He also lucked out, for the present that he chose was the last one on the shelf. Perhaps it was actually meant to be bought by him?        

          “Wait, are you sure about that?” he inquired, eyes squinted a little at the blonde lady. He had to make sure; after all, that was the last of his money. He actually planned on hitching a ride back to the academy when he meets up with his adopted father. Of course, he wouldn’t want Re’a to be in trouble as well now, would he? “If that is the case, then I’ll gladly take you up on that offer. Thanks, Re’a!” And with that, Yuhan bowed his head before her, expressing his gratitude.        

          As soon as his transaction was finished, Yuhan stared at the present he held on his hand that was now beautifully wrapped. Thanking Re’a once again, he carefully placed the present inside his satchel before reaching out a hand to Re’a for a handshake. Since she did him a favor, perhaps he can do something for her to return the favor. Free tuition perhaps on the coming semester? Nah, she might not accept it, considering that despite the fact that she helps out at the store, she didn’t really look the type that struggles with money.

          “Come see me at the academy when the coronation is over. We can talk about wha… –” Yuhan was soon cut off his words when a loud, yet familiar voice boomed over the store.        

          “If it isn’t my favorite short magical runt!”


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