Chapter 24: Unauthorized dive

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We set out again on the road with a good start. The boys were teasing about Prompto's crush: Cindy and he was not being obvious. He was transparent even I saw that but did not care. I did my scan again for the Giver and he is somehow keeping pace with the car. I couldn't tell being between Noctis and Gladiolus in back. My eyes didn't want to look back to be suspicious about the Giver and so, I decided to wait until he makes a move.

"Hey Alice, I want to hear more about your master," Gladiolus said as my eyes looked at him with a raised eyebrow

"Where did that come from, tattoo man?" I asked

"Ah come on, I'm curious about who trained you. Must be a tough master the way you fight."

"I agree on that I'm curious as well. Your fighting style is using your fist or sword. Why nothing else, Alice?" Ignis added.

Man, they are going to ask about my master regardless of what I tell them. I really want to kill them now for this.

"My master...he is a strong master with a plan." I started

"A plan?" Gladiolus and Ignis asked

"To become the strongest warrior," I stated

"Ambitious goal for sure, Miss Alice," Ignis replied as Prompto and Noctis just looked at me

"What about you, Alice? Do you want to be the strongest warrior?" Gladiolus asked

"Yes. In order to do that, I must prove myself to all of the strongest warriors on Eos."

"Does that include the Marshal, Alice?" Prompto asked curiously

"Yes, he is by far the strongest warrior beside...her," I said in annoyance at the last word of my sentence

"Her?" the men asked in unison

"You'll meet her eventually for you all are warriors too. Well, almost all of you." I said as my eyes gave Noctis a look and he asked,

"What? I'm not a warrior, Alice?"

"Hell no, you're a woman remember?" I replied as Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis laughed at my response

"For the last time, I'm not a woman, Alice!!"

"You lied, vegetable hater. You are definitely a woman."

"Miss Alice, for the sake of Etro, our Prince is a man. Why do you not see that?" Ignis asked

"Four-eyes, he is a woman because he is high maintenance," I replied

"You can't argue with her on that, Iggy." Prompto snickered and Gladiolus agreed with my statement. Noctis and I argued about the topic at hand as Ignis continued to drive us to our next destination.

After a few hours in the car, we stopped at a post called 'Longwythe Post Rest Area' and we got out of the car. As I stretched my arms for relief as Prompto commented on restocking our inventory, Noctis commented that he is being helpful for a change and Prompto retorted,

"What do you mean 'for a change'?"

I shrugged as my eyes were scanning for the Giver but he was no longer following us or to be seen. Damn, now I'm concerned. Noctis told the motel manager about the package and we were waiting for him to get the package. We heard a bark near us as a dark animal approached us as Noctis recognized this weird creature and called it 'Umbra'. Strange name...as the men commented on the creature can track a scent and I rolled my eyes mentally. I can track my targets better than this creature. Noctis is writing something in a notebook as my eyes caught a blue flower and my scanners told me it was a 'sylleblossoms'. Suddenly, my scanners were directing me to Noctis's aura as it changed colors of blue to a lighter shade of white. Then my scanners were into a memory dive of Noctis; witnessing a memory that appeared to be from twelve years ago. It was a Noctis as a young child with a girl I never meet. She looked to be the same age as Noctis in appeared. She had long blonde hair with blue eyes that looked diamonds. She wore a white dress with white flats. The young Noctis opened a red notebook with the same flower I saw moments ago.

"Nice flower."

"It's the same kind we sewed our crowns from."

"So.."

"Hm?"

"I have a favor to ask. Take the notebook with you when you leave."

"Ok."

"That is not all. I want you to pick something in the book and send it back."

Abruptly, the memory ended as my mind returned to the present and I let out a small breath. I couldn't believe my scanners did a memory dive without my consent. I checked my algorithm in my systems and the results seemed to be...different. Then my scanners showed the Blue Z virus is resting in the brain that is the scanners.

Not good.

I ignored my personal problem for now and calmed myself. It confirmed my guess that this is how that Noctis and Luna communicated. I felt a new feeling inside me as it was the rage, disposition, and sadness. What is this feeling? As Noctis finished, the Umbra was about to leave but went to me and began to sniff.

"Awe. I think Umbra likes you, Alice." Prompto said as I went to my knees, my eyes scanned the creature to get information and this is a dog. Umbra looked at me as if asking me something, I put my hands up into a paw like greeting and spoke,

"Woof. Bark. Bark."

The four men went silent as they were confused about what I was doing, Umbra sat down and replied with two barks. Our conversation went back and forth with barks. After five minutes, we were done and Umbra left us. The boys looked at me as I got up from the ground, I raised a brow and said,

"What?"

"Miss Alice,...I regret even asking this..were you having a conversation with Umbra?" Ignis asked wearily as I nodded in response and Prompto added,

"You were having a chat with Umbra?"

"Yes, why is that hard to believe?" I asked feeling offended

"Because a dog only barks, Alice," Gladiolus said as he is stretching his head

"If you all had dog training; maybe you would understand animals," I replied coolly

"...Alice...I don't know what's weirder. You talking to Umbra or Umbra understand you." Noctis said as he shook his head in disbelief of what he and his friends witnessed. The three men agreed in with Noctis and I shrugged my shoulders.

We started to head back to the car as I felt a hand grasp mine, my eyes saw it was Noctis and he said,

"I'm happy Umbra likes you."

"Why? Are you worried a dog won't like me?" I asked confused

"No, that's not it..um." Noctis stopped himself as my eyes saw his cheeks were tinted with pink, I sighed and put a hand on his cheek.

"Noctis, don't worry. Your still my friend and I will still think of you as one even if you're a woman."

He went completely red in embarrassment and I headed back to the car with his friends ever curious of what I said.

Thank you, friends, for reading this chapter! I was so happy to write it! Sorry, no short Citadel stay today but that will be for next chapter. Please comment and vote!



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