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   Chapter 7 Past~Arina

Gilded Cage By butterfly_effect Characters: 5312

Updated: 2018-12-18 20:11

I did not dare return to my secluded spot by the lake after that incident. Instead, I observed from a bench near that spot, bringing my schoolwork and some other books with me, and stayed there whenever I was free. My aim was to determine if I could still use my secluded spot without others claiming it as well, I persuaded myself. I definitely was not trying to satisfy my curiosity as to find out who that handsome stranger was. From his words, he seemed to come here often as he was familiar with the birds residing there. But I had not seen him since the day I moved to Mirror Court.

After two weeks, he appeared again. A flutter of birds flocked the secluded spot, no doubt enjoying their additional meal. Maybe he came every two weeks? For two weeks since I had moved to Mirror Court, I had not seen him. And two weeks after that incident, he appeared again. So did that mean my secret secluded spot was still mine except for the day he visited? This seemed to lift up my mood. The bench I was currently occupying was a good spot, but it's not secluded enough and without a huge tree protecting this area, direct sunlight shone on me for an hour every day. It's too sunny.

I looked up from the book I was reading, trying to move my neck after a long time of bending forward. I was rubbing the back of my neck with my hand when I saw the stranger. He was standing by the lake and gazing at it. He wore a robe similar to last time, a simple black one with silver embroideries at the hems. Sleeves fluttering amid the gentle breeze, when they caught the sunlight, the hidden embroidery on the edge of the sleeves became apparent. It was the ensign of Ivory Manor. He was no doubt one of the young masters of Ivory Manor. Probably one of the competitors for the spot of the heir of Ivory Manor.

Returning my gaze to the book on the lap, I persuaded myself to stop being so nosy. But it seemed like my curiosity got the better of me, I peeked at him once in awhile. Of course I did that secretly, with my enhanced bird eyesight. There's some perks of having shape-shifting power after all. I swore my curiosity would be my downfall one day. To say the truth, he was a really handsome young man. And who didn't like admiring beautiful things? Thus, began my secret life of peeking at the handsome young master whenever he appeared by the lake.

Just as I had deduced, he only showed up every two weeks, on the day before rest day. After confirming my deduction, I happily returned to occupying the secluded spot, which by now I had thought of as my secret spot. Whenever it's time for the young master to show up, I occupied the bench close to

the spot instead.

Time went by, the first evaluation of the year was coming close. I had been practicing nearly everyday in the practice ground with my partner. What I lacked in talent, I had to at least make up with my effort. I hopped back as gracefully as I could and twirled the practice sword with my wrist. A bend of my waist and then pierced the sword at my opponent's waist backhandedly. Lilian counteracted with a heavy strike of her fire-coated sword. My sword split into two on contact. I dropped my hand and sighed.

"Let's call it a day, Lilian." My hand was still shaking slightly from the impact of Lilian's last strike.

"Yup. Our progress was pretty good. You mastered the backhand technique! I nearly didn't see it coming! Let's continue tomorrow."

I nodded in silence and quickly grabbed my things. I had to get out of here. It's suffocating and I was annoyed with myself. I didn't master that backhand technique. If I did, Lilian wouldn't be able to fight back. She even broke my practice sword. I thought that technique was already good enough, but apparently not.

I wanted to leave everything behind. I wanted to rest. Without noticing, I had already reached the secluded spot by the lake. Throwing my shattered sword onto the bench, I let out a tiny scream. I really needed a break. Checking for one last time that no one was around, I shifted into a bird and then soared into the sky.

After flying away and letting my steam off, I returned to the bench and closed my eyes. I stayed there, enjoying the tiny silence this moment brought me. And then my silence was shattered. I was brought into a hand of a person. I opened my eyes in shock and was met with the mocking face of the young master. He seemed thoroughly entertained.

"You're really a failure as a bird, " he mocked. "I caught you again. How can you survive in this world with such poor reflex?"

I wanted to scream at myself for my stupidity. Why didn't I notice him getting so close? Was I really such a failure? And today was rest day! Why was he here? He'd just been here last week! I tried to flap my wings or struggle out of his grasp, but to no avail.

"Don't be so frightened. I don't look like such a bad guy, do I?" he smirked.

Yes, you do. You caught me every time you met me and you said you weren't a bad guy?

Suddenly, he's chuckling. "You looked like you had human emotions. What a weird bird. You're annoyed? Do you really know what annoyance is? Do you?"

His mood seemed to suddenly turn bad, something hard and dangerous gleamed in his eyes. He took a look at me and then his mouth quirked up.

I had a bad feeling.

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