Chapter 19: Let’s Stay Warm

All right, that was quite the shock. The boy I saved turned out to be Nathaniel Agni, a capture target, and he is now sitting in front of me eating a bowl of soup. Nathaniel, no one’s going to take the soup from you, so please eat slower.

Nathaniel licked his lips as he ate and it was so fast that it made me wonder if he ever ate. I mean he is really thin compared to the game.

“Nathaniel?”

“Yes?” answered Nathaniel, still shoveling another serving of the soup in his mouth.

“What is this trial you are doing in this mountain?”

I have to admit that I don’t know anything about this trial. Was it even mentioned in the game?

Nathaniel swallowed the soup in his mouth and stated, “Before I answer can you finally tell me your name?”

“Oh my, how rude of me. My name is Laveda…Reina.”

Nathaniel stared at me with wide eyes. Did I say something shocking?

“Laveda, what kind of a name is that for a boy and even your last name sounds girly.”

Wait a minute…did Nathaniel mistake me for a boy? Oh come on. I might not have a chest yet, but I have long hair so…some guys here have long hair, but my dress…I am dressed like a boy right now. I guess it is easy to mistake me for a boy for now. I feel like I want to cry.

“Do you mind me calling you Reino?”

“Why Reino?”

“It sounds manly and I don’t think you like being called by a girl’s name.”

“But I’m…”

“Besides girls being on a mountain is dangerous and I would feel uneasy if I even thought you were girl, so best to make your name sound manly.”

I feel very insulted by his words, but maybe I should say I’m a boy since it isn’t very common for girls to be dressed as boys. I’ll correct him later.

“So about this trial?”

“Oh yes, well I am going through a trial to become a full-fledged fire warrior. This trial requires me to stay on this mountain for five months. Surviving the cold with little cover and mastering my fire element.”

“Isn’t that dangerous? I mean I found you dangling from the side of a mountain.”

“That only happened because I was chased by a Snow Yeti, but I am very close to finishing this trial and my fire element is almost to the max.”

I nodded trying to think if this was ever mentioned in the game. It sounds familiar…oh, I really shouldn’t have forgotten the serious points in Nathaniel’s route. The soup is getting cold, so I better just eat before it gets too cold.

Wait a minute, why is Nathaniel staring at me so hard? Is there something on my face?

“Reino?”

“Yes?”

“When you look at me do you feel anything?”

“No.”

Nathaniel grew silent. Really, what was with that question? Is he asking if I am attracted to him? Does that mean he is gay? I shouldn’t jump to conclusions and we just met.

The next thing I knew, Nathaniel reached across to me and pulled the goggles that were still over my eyes, lifting them off to reveal my golden eyes. We were staring into each other’s eyes and then Nathaniel spoke once again.

“Do you still feel nothing?”

“I don’t really understand and can you please let go of my goggles?”

Nathaniel placed my goggles back on, but I could see confusion in his face. Seriously, what is with him? What does he expect me to feel?

Oh, now I know. Nathaniel was known to have a look that made people tremble or feint and I am showing no reaction to his look. I admit his look is kind of sharp, but there is gentleness in them. How could his look be scary…I don’t know why, but that line sounded oddly familiar.

“You’re not scared of me?” I finally heard him murmur. I looked him straight in the eye. He looks a little scared. Now that I think about it, he was bothered about his eyes scaring people.

I shook my head and said the words that sounded oddly familiar.

“I admit that your look is kind of sharp, but there is gentleness in them. How could your look be scary?”

Those words really do sound familiar. Nathaniel is growing red. How adorable…wait a minute. Those familiar lines were said by the heroine in the game when she first met Nathaniel. Oh my Gosh! I stole a line! I feel so bad. I’m sure Nathaniel feels nothing when I said the line, since he thinks I’m a boy…but I am worried about his red face. Is he getting too hot?

“Nathaniel?”

“Nate.”

“What?”

“Call me Nate. Nathaniel is too long.”

He was red when he said those lines, but “Nate” is kind of cute, so I’ll call him that.

“So Nate, are you hot?”

“Not really.”

“Then why are you red?”

“It’s just warm.”

So he is warm, but not hot? I’m a little confused. I better finish my food and then get ready to rest before I attempt to climb the mountain.

I finished the last of my food and then noticed that Nate was once again shivering next to the fire. Seriously Nate, didn’t you say, “you were warm” just a moment ago. I rolled my eyes and grabbed another blanket from my bag. Good thing I packed two. I walked over to him and wrapped the blanket around him.

“Don’t you need this?” he asked me.

I shook my head saying, “I can stay warm on my own.” I really can. All I have to do is manipulate the wind to a warmer temperature and then I would have my very own heater, no batteries or electricity required. I just can’t let Nate notice since I still plan to keep my talents a secret from him.

I was about to walk off, but the next thing I knew, I was pulled back and immediately wrapped in the warmth of the blanket, but my back was against something cold. Wait a minute…Nate and I are too close for comfort!

“Nate, what are…”

“I would feel bad if I took your blanket all to myself so please allow me to stay warm with you.”

“…OK.”

WHAT AM I SAYING? An unmarried woman like me should not be sharing a blanket with a boy. I’m not of marriageable age yet in this body, but still. I feel so embarrassed. It is getting warm though.

“Nate?”

“Yes?”

“Are you warm now?”

“Yes.”

I didn’t know what else to say as I felt sleep begin to take over my body and I could feel Nate’s body also getting warm. This feels really nice, but it is still embarrassing.

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