Reason for Anger
"Putting it that way is not entirely accurate either," Annelotte spoke in an odd tone. Her usual appetite was by no means small, but she wouldn't touch alcohol unless she absolutely had to. But to thank Angelsita's help this time around, she relaxed that restriction. While she wouldn't pour herself any alcohol to drink, she wouldn't refuse to toast and drink what she was served.
She didn't have good alcohol, to begin with, being only as tolerant as Innilis was, so this was the first time she got drunk. It wasn't like that snowy night when she got a little tipsy with Leguna. She was drunk through and through.
Her face was flushed red and her eyes seemed rather glazed. Thankfully, she was only around Angelista. Had there been any other man in the vicinity, he would've long been overloaded by her charm.
"I only remembered some things about Leguna. The rest of my memories are still not back," she explained as she filled more wine in her cup on her own initiative, probably due to her drunkenness. She immediately proceeded to empty half of her drink.
"So it looks like my method worked after all!" Angelista nodded with satisfaction at what she had achieved today. Not only did she defeat Annelotte, though admittedly not in her prime state, she also managed to help her recover part of her memories and made a killing from Leguna. The mere thought of it put a big smile on her face.
This woman was a weird one even among the dark elves. While she was driven mainly by profit just like them, the bigger motivator for her was her whim. She was someone who did what she felt like doing without needing a reason for it. She enjoyed the process of doing such things and the sense of satisfaction that came from completing such tasks.
So, she wasn't helping Annelotte out of some kind of sentimental feeling, nor was she trying to gain her favor for anything. She only wanted to see whether her soul powers were capable of such a feat, so she did it. It turned out to be quite satisfactory in the end.
Angelista rolled her eyes once more as another thought occurred to her.
"I heard Leguna mention your memory loss unconsciously. What in the world happened?" Angelista took a large swig. Unlike Annelotte, she was a huge alcoholic despite her young age. Drinking that much only made her a little tipsy.
"It's only an accident, nothing much." Annelotte shrugged it away.
"So what in the world is your relationship with Leguna then?"
"Relationship?" She froze for a second as her eyes clouded up with uncertainty. "I'm not really sure."
"You're not sure?"
"That's right--" She pointed at her temple. "--Before I lost my memories, I made some backups. In them, Leguna was the one I remembered the least. So, I don't understand what kind of relationship we used to have."
"Is that the reason for your anger? Because you hold great doubt about your relationship, you don't want anybody to bring it up? You're worried that otter people will confuse you even further and force you to confront the truth you're trying to avoid?"
"Truth?" Annelotte took another drink and shook her head. "What kind of truth could I possibly fear?"
"You fear that the old you didn't love him," Angelista said directly. "After you lost your memories, you aren't sure how you used to feel for him. It seemed like the old you didn't treasure those memories of him and could mean that you didn't care much about him in the first place. You're afraid this will be the case, because you, the current you, love him so dearly."
Annelotte slammed the table and glared at Angelista boilingly.
"I heard dark elves don't love. That's why you don't understand human affairs. You're just spouting gibberish! You don't even know me for long or understand me, so don't add your commentary!"
"It's true I don't know much about you humans… or you," Angelista admitted candidly, before her eyes glinted silverly, "But I am a soulgrasper. When I was trying to help you recover your memories, I couldn't help but glimpse into your mind. I felt your emotions, your feelings for him. You want to get closer to Leguna at an instinctive level, yet you've chosen to not do so because you're afraid you never had those feelings for him before you lost your memories. You're afraid opening your heart will disrupt your old plans."
Annelotte kept her mouth shut. She didn't know of what she was afraid. She wanted to get close to the boy, but she always stopped herself for some reason. The contradiction upset her deeply, and drove her to her current fury.
She didn't know she shared those feelings with her former self. It wasn't just her complicated emotions, however. Another, more complex reason hid even beneath them.
"Annie. Do you mind if I call you that?" Angelista said.
She felt there was a chance she could do something else interesting today.
"I don't," Annelotte replied in a daze.
She was drunk and confused by Angelista's words, so she simply agreed without listening properly to what she said.
"Annie…" Angelista said in a solemn tone and held Annelotte's hand like a human would, "Don't suppress your feelings."
"I'm not… suppressing…" she said in a low voice.
"Are you stubbornly not going to acknowledge it even tome? Don't forget. I'm a soulgrasper. Looking into your heart to find out how you feel is all too simple for me."
"You know better than anyone that you like him," she said seriously, "I know you're not one to follow your desires freely like me. But I'm sure you know it isn't right either to suppress your feelings like that."
"What do you… think I should do?"
"At least… at least give that brat a chance," she said a little easingly.
Annelotte went silent once more. But half a minute later, she shook her head slightly.
"I won't try too hard to convince you." She wasn't too surprised to see that reaction and simply shrugged. "It's your and Leguna's personal matter. I only did all this today because of a mere whim. Let me reemphasize this. You like that man… well, that cherry boy is still a child. Whatever you call him, you like him. You can't deny that."
Annelotte's expression was a complicated one. She seemed almost hopeful that Angelista would give her even more reasons to try this out.
However, Angelista didn't let her off the hook that easily like she said she would. She secretly used her enthymema while Annelotte was distracted and gave her a light suggestion. Annelotte's enthymema wasn't that much weaker than hers, so she worried that she would discover the meddling once she was sober.
Even so, being able to give the glacial empress a suggestion was enough to earn her mad bragging rights among other magi. Though, she would have to think it through twice lest she wanted to be pursued and murdered by Leguna and Annelotte.
"Alright." Angelista downed the last of her wine and wiped her mouth clean. "I've enjoyed this meal tonight. Thank Leguna on my behalf when you get back, won't you? Want me to send you back?"
"No need." Annelotte stood up unstably.
"Here's a suggestion. Why don't you go out to get some air and sober up?" she said with a sneaky look, "I doubt you'd want to return to the academy entirely drunk."
"I will." Annelotte tried to gather herself and stepped out of the room with Angelista.
Second Heaven's hall was rather messy. While it was considered to be the best entertainment facility in Melindor, they served customers from multiple walks of life. The main hall was where people could have a good time for the cheap price of a few gold coins.
The owner of the place also seemed to understand the mindset of the elite. While he made sure the VIP rooms were well hidden, he made it so that the people in the main hall could be easily seen from those rooms to fuel the primitive sense of superiority for the VIPs to feel good about themselves.
When Annelotte first came here, she blushed slightly from hearing the vulgar conversations in the main hall. But being slightly drunk she was now, she didn't mind it too much.
Angelista, on the other hand, had her interest piqued more and more. Eventually, she told Annelotte, "You go home for now. I'll go have some more fun."Previous Chapter Next Chapter