Chapter 35 | Empty Sea

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Ethan's P.O.V.

"Go, we'll catch up with you!" Lorenzò's voice shouted across the garden, urging me to leave before Mr. W could see me.

I saluted him, wishing him and Conner good luck with their escape from our harsh teacher.

Today had been an odd day; Elena did not show up as promised. At first, I thought she might have forgotten our meeting, however, that would've been even more bizarre.

When the sun began settling in, converting the daytime to twilight, I decided to try and visit her before a new day could be born.

And to make up for the lost time, I cooked one of her favorite dishes: pizza.
I found joy to make this weird dish like it was the first time she introduced it to me.

"First, you put the tomato sauce on the dough," she pointed at the red dressing, waiting for me to execute her order. "And then you put on the meat and vegetables before you top it with some cheese."

"What's up with you and cheese? First, it's cheesecake and now pizza?"

Although she rolled her bright eyes, a smile spilled over her features, lightening up her pale and pink face. "It's going to be good, Your Majesty. Trust me."

And trust that I did.

It was interesting eating the food, especially without using cutlery. Despite the massive mess we had created, it was doubtless a delicious dish.

However, I did find the name 'Pizza' a bit weird to call a meal. But then again, she was quite bizarre herself. In a positive way, of course.

The memory triggered a smile, an excitement that beat like a drum. It was strange how eager Elena made feel. I always enjoyed the times we shared; discovering fun where one should not think it would be.

And I had the impression that she felt the same way.

It was unusual for Elena to not show up to our agreed meetings. But perhaps she had caught a cold? Or maybe she just lost track of time?

Whatever the matter was, I knew she would welcome a homemade pizza.

I just hope I made it the way she likes it.

By the time I reached the theater, a twilight spilled over the sky, the sight enchanting and beautiful. However, an unpleasant feeling moved in where the wonderment of the dusk should have been.

The door was open, barely hanging where it did.

Suddenly, the sword on my hip felt heavy, and I instinctively rested my hand on the grip, dropping the bag of food in the process. Hastily, I walked towards the main room, hoping to find Elena and Francis caught in a melody.

But the deeper I walked into the heart, the quieter and colder it became.

Had there been a break-in?

"Elena?" I called out, feeling troubled to see how all the doors were wide open and splintered. It was the only signal that I needed before I drew my sword. "Hello? Whoever you are, show yourself!"

It was quiet, but not empty.

"Help." A faint voice whispered, catching my attention that drew it to the figure laying in a pool of pain.

"Francis!" I ran to the hurt monk, horrified to see such deep wounds on a kind and gentle person like him. "God, what happened?"

He was coated in bloody bruises, the markings showing the strength of violent actions. Unconsciousness was trying to drag him to its hole, but he somehow found a power to fight it.

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