Deciding to follow the two hooded figures, Charlotte kept on trailing them from their front until they reached a restaurant in a rather decrepit area of the city. Entering the empty establishment, a tall tanned man with red-brown eyes, wearing a red bandana on his head as well as a black shirt and grey sweatpants, greeted the two as he said:
“Oh! Liria and Croix, welcome back! How did your search today go?”
Waving in response was the old man who answered:
“Hey Yaya. I’m afraid we didn’t find any trace of Aria’s daughter today either. However! I did find something interesting that I think will interest you in my search today.”
“Hoho! Is that so? Tell me Croix, what did you find?”
With that, Croix began to detail his meeting with the two sisters, the incredible instincts of the older sister that allowed her to sense his power despite him hiding it with a pendant of shroud. He also told her his belief that she could become an incredible adventurer as well as the fact that she was now here in Dene. Because of this, he had a hunch that she or her sister might even the second child of destiny they were searching for, or they could become an important companion for Ailya in her journey.
Hearing Croix’s recount, Yaya began to laugh as he said:
“Hahahaha… Truly, the workings of fate are an incredible thing. Why just yesterday, after the two of you had left, two sisters that fit your exact description came into my establishment asking for directions to, guess where? The guild! It appears that your hunch about the two might not be too far off. I would recommend that you two go the guild building later today and ask about them, or maybe even the Old Boot inn around here, since that’s where I recommended them for a cheap place to stay. The names of the two since it seems Croix didn’t bother to find them out, are Alex and Alice. I don’t think it should be too hard for us to track them down, and if you’re hunch is right, those two may prove to be our ticket to finding Ailya. After all, for them run across the two of us, it can’t just be because of simple chance, fate is clearly at work here.”
“So we may find Aria’s daughter soon…”
“Yeah Liria, so try to relax a little, your countenance is starting to look quite poor as of late.”
“I don’t mean to be mean Liria, but Croix is right. Your anxiety is more than showing on your face. Come Liria, I’ll serve the two of you some good food, so try to relax and maybe even get a little rest. I think Croix by himself should be more than capable of tracking down the two girls.”
Accepting his proposal, Croix and Liria took a seat in one of the nearby tables as Yaya went inside and began preparing food for the two.
Charlotte however, was completely rooted in place as an expression of utter disbelief could be seen on her face.
By this point, there was no doubt that the absurd scenario that had been in Charlotte’s mind was more than true. And after thinking about it and beginning to piece the different pieces of the puzzle in place, a clear picture of the situation and what had occurred became clear Charlotte’s mind.
With the information she had just heard, Charlotte was able to figure out that Alex had not lied to her about ‘Alice’, or better yet, Ailya’s encounter with her. In fact, if what Alex had told her was true, it meant that the elf’s mother was most certainly Aria Rondenstar, and that her father was the legendary adventurer Alfred Rondestar. With the discovery that the two had a daughter, Charlotte was now able to understand why Aria had so arbitrarily decided to return to her homeland, and why Alfred had allowed her to do so seemingly without any protest as he left on a journey never to be seen again.
Even more unbelievable than that, was the fact that Ailya was most likely one of the two children of destiny, and that fate had undoubtedly guided them to her, just as it had done to the three here…
Turning her head to look at the two sitting on the table and the man cooking a meal for them, Charlotte was certain that the mysterious trio in front of her were members of the legendary ‘Order of the Grey Heron’, and that they were searching for both the two sisters as well as Aria’s daughter.
Unbeknownst to them, however, was the fact that the younger of the two sisters was Ailya, and that she had the ability to freely change her form and even her magic signature.
Thinking about it, Charlotte began to understand where her thought process had erred earlier, and the reason as to why the little girl had such a seemingly powerful ability despite her weak level began to become more clear. At the same time as this mystery was answered however, came the question on who exactly Alex was, whether she was the second child of destiny or an important ally somehow summoned by mistake by the demon cultists. Thinking about the way in which the two seemed to share the same ability…
With that thought replaying in her mind, as well as the purpose of the summoning by the demon cultists, a sudden bout of enlightenment seemed to reach Charlotte as she immediately began to run as fast as she could towards ‘The Red Swan’. In her moment of excitement, Charlotte did not think to use any of her abilities to track the two, and instead ran straight to the hotel where she had left the two and hoped they were at.
Arriving in just under 5 minutes, Charlotte quickly made her way up as she opened the door of the room in which the two were staying at, not minding the fact that it was supposed to be locked by a powerful magic formation. However, upon entering the room, she saw that the room was empty and that the girls were most likely not in the hotel.
Since they had left their stuff inside, she was sure that the two had just decided to go out and explore the city, most likely to visit the guild. Deciding to wait for the two and take a moment to calm her excitement and arrange her thoughts, Charlotte laid on the large bed in the middle of the room as she stared at the ceiling and thought about the ridiculous conclusion she had arrived at.
At the moment, this ridiculous conjecture had taken hold in Charlotte’s mind. And no matter how she looked at it, it should not be possible. But if, if her conjecture was true, if it really was true, then the power of fate may not be as absolute as she had always believed.
With that possibility taking root in Charlotte's mind, Charlotte felt herself become restless as she began to roll on the bed. If the situation really was as she imagined it, then the implications of it would be enough to bring unimaginable chaos to the world, especially since she herself now had the distinct opportunity to dictate the future of the world…
After waiting for a few hours, Charlotte finally saw the door begin to move as a key was pressed against the door. A few seconds later, two girls could be seen entering surprise overtook the two the moment they saw Charlotte waiting in front of the door of their room for them.
Pulling the two inside and closing the door, Charlotte pushed Alex against a chair as she looked into her brown eyes and said:
“Tell me. What’s Alice’s real name? Is it Ailya? And who exactly are her parents? And more importantly, what have you done to her, miss demon?”
At her questions, Charlotte saw Alex’s eyes widen in surprise. However, surprising Charlotte even more as well as exciting her, Alex’s eyes turned yellow like a demon’s for a moment before the girl began trembling in absolute terror. The poor frightened girl look as if she would throw up at any minute from the great fear she was experiencing, and she was completely unable to move her petrified body away from Charlotte.
Seeing her eyes as well as her reaction, Charlotte felt an uncontrollable excitement overtake her as a large smile appeared on her face. Leaning herself even closer to Alex, to the point that their noses were almost touching, she said to the frightened girl:
“Tell me my little demon, what did you see just now?”