Chapter 6- Don't Hide Away

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Armella had woken up and made breakfast for the group inside the Boar Hat. She had taken a plate to Diane, her portions being bigger. "Are you okay, Ella?", the red-head smiled, "I'm going to be fine, Diane. I promise.", and the giant nodded as Armella looked at the giant pig, "Hey, Hawk's mom, why don't you rest for a bit.", the pig snorted and Armella smiled as they Boar Hat was level with the ground. She jumped up and got onto the top portion of the Boar's hat. She looked inside the little room and tilted her head, this could be her area. She raised an eyebrow as she heard someone wake up with a groan, "What happened? My neck feels awful.", and she sighed, "Ella?", she softly smiled, "I'll be back, Diane. I promise. Right now we gotta figure out a plan.", Diane nodded and Armella jumped down from the top of the Boar Hat and she made her way inside, right as Ban, Meliodas, Hawk, and Elizabeth smiled at the food. "All of this is for me!", Armella chuckled, "Not all of it, Sir Hawk. But some of it was made just for you.", she grabbed a large wooden bowl and set it on the floor and Hawk dug in. "Well, eat up. The food won't eat itself.", Meliodas nodded and Elizabeth smiled, "Right.", and they got their plates as Ban looked at Armella, "Hey, what happened last night? Last thing I remember is being at that Doctor's house.", Meliodas spoke up, "You passed out so I brought you back.", Ban nodded, "That explains the headache but not the pain in my neck.", Armella spoke, "Ban. Meliodas didn't bring you back. I did.", he looked at her, "You were drunk, and out of it. You wanted me to stay with you.", he frowned, "So you snapped my neck?", he growled the last bit and she jumped a little and Meliodas spoke up, "Because you kept begging her to stay and you kept calling her Mella. You know how Mel is.", Ban looked at her as she glanced down, "I'm sorry. I reacted poorly to the situation.", and she left the bar. Meliodas went to go after her but Ban stopped him. He at least needed to try, sober. Meliodas nodded and Elizabeth frowned, "Sir Meliodas?", he glanced at the girl, "Armella won't hide away to protect herself. She'll hide away to protect the rest of us. Now, let's eat. Armella is an amazing cook.", and the group ate.

Armella had made her way to the little point she had found, Diane had laid down for a nap. The giant had been walking all night with Hawk's mom. Ban climbed up and frowned as he saw the window to the little area open and Armella was inside sitting on the daybed, looking away from him. She was in her everyday outfit, a white shirt with a blue skirt knee high black socks and grey calf length boots, she had a red bow on and her hair was down. Her necklace and a ring the only jewelry she had. "I searched for you, I did. I searched for all of you.", she tilted her head, "I hid for a full two years before the Holy Knights gave up on finding me, so I could move more freely in my search for you. It seemed every time I got a location, a rumor, and chased it down, it was old news. Until I got to Baste and they were dragging you in.", she clinched her jaw, "I wanted to bust you out, so badly, so I snuck in. Then I heard you talking. I felt such a great peace fall on me, one I hadn't felt since we were all separated. But then I heard what you were saying. How you wanted to feel something again. Which means you hadn't felt anything when you were with us, with me.", she swallowed as she rested her head against the window, her eyes moved and she glanced at him, "And that only brought my fears closer to the surface. That I had wasted a year and a half with a man who only saw me as a distraction. But then I realized. To us it didn't feel that long because we blinked and that year and a half had passed. I was willing to let it go, until the night you called me Elaine. We were acting as we usually did. We weren't just together, we were together in a way we hadn't been before and you called me Elaine. You fell asleep, but I sat up. Forcing myself to unhear it. Because while you had loved before, I hadn't and I didn't want it tarnished. But what we had, it's wasn't love.", she took a deep breath and her eyes met his, he frowned as he saw the tears but once again they refused to fall. She hated to cry in front of anyone, let alone him. The person who made her cry the most. "Then you asked about bringing people back to life and you told me about Lady Elaine. A woman I knew. I fought with the fairies as comrades. And then it all clicked.", she glanced down as she pulled her knees up and Ban frowned, she looked so small, so scared. Something no one associated with the Knight Princess, but here she was. She blinked as a tear fell, "And then, I figured Elaine told you about the elves at the edge of the Fairy King's Forest and their magical abilities. I was one of the few to get graced with magical abilities to fight against an enemy our world faced, but I was the only one to keep them at the end of our war. I never questioned it, for my parents believed it meant that later in life I would be part of something great.", she swallowed as she tilted her head. "The night before we found Zaratras, I ran to Meliodas. I always do. He's my brother. I remember waking up only a few hours later and I didn't feel right. I felt, darker. I later came to my senses and I was scared of myself. I had nearly killed some of the Holy Knights, and I didn't even notice. Then I, I woke up when I realized something was wrong. That's when I found Zaratras and I heard you all approaching. I put the pieces together. Someone was trying to frame you all for killing Zaratras. I meant to find out why, but I didn't have the time. So I was going to allow you all to escape. The world wouldn't notice if a simple Holy Knight died, but if the Sins died the world would notice. And at the time, I thought it was my only escape from whatever darkness had taken hold of my spirit.", she tilted her head as it rested on her knees, her ocean blue eyes meeting his maroon ones. He held in his gasp, she looked stunning in this moment, but he didn't have the right to express it anymore. Not verbally. Her eyes glanced over his before she let a breath of air out of her nose and she frowned as her eyes fell down toward the ground, "I'm sorry.", he frowned, "What?", she turned back so she was looking in front of her and Ban frowned as his maroon orbs lost contact with her ocean blue ones. "For killing you. I'm sorry. And for what I said and did at the Prison. I can't force you to love me. And if you didn't then it was my fault for being naive.", he frowned. All he wanted to do was comfort her and tell her she was wrong but he knew he couldn't just tell her. He'd have to prove it. She blinked as she took a deep breath and stood up, Ban scrambling backwards on the roof and she stood beside him, "Comrades?", he softly smiled, but he felt his heart stopping, they were starting all over. "Comrades.", she nodded and glanced around, "Our next plan of action would be to find King. And since he's dead we will need to find the entrance to the Necropolis. Which means we need information and we're only a short ways away from the next town.", Ban nodded and she sighed, "We should probably go talk to the others then.", and she jumped from the little perch and Ban sighed as she walked into the Boar's Hat.

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