"Hi, nice to meet you. My name is Emma...and yours?"
That polite and yet hurtful question. His pain was deeper than any injury he's ever suffered.
He's battled monsters, fought for food and heard stabbing back rumors about him. Numbness has protected him from those things, after all he's life was a huge challenge for a weakened human.
His mother even abandoned him to let him die because he's weak and slow. Well, he's alive and he's a great mage.
However, her words with friendly attempt, only stabbed him cruelty.
She doesn't remember him. The girl who saved his life, got hurt for him, gave him bread, aided him after his pleads and tears...
She...doesn't remember him.
He just followed the flow and continue his plan. His plan to save her.
He wants to save her as she saved him from death. He's fallen for her smile and her persona.
Because even if she doesn't remember hi, he remembers her and that's what matters to him. After years of research, training, hard work to prepare the ritual and study it...he's now ready to perform the ritual.
Magico. A marriage.
May be a bit forced but the main thing is to save her. Even if she doesn't love him, saving her was his prize and let her have a free life.
Anise looked at him, with empathy and care, like an elder sister does when their young sibling is sad. But he can read her green eyes, as she's telling him to not feel down, to not show sadness nor weakness...
Because, they're gonna make new memories. More colorful memories.
Family memories. A lovely family...without pain.
At the beginning, she may had not fully accepted the idea.
After years of isolation, she finally escaped from her prison and was able to see the wide world which was always untouchable and out form her reach. As a daydream outside her window, a fantasy she read everyday from her books.
All her world was built up by books.
But ever since Shion saved her and fought for her, she's able to understand what fairy tales were like. Not just the magical world, but for the strong feeling she's feeling.
Could it be love? She likes to be with Shion. His determination, his way to show love, his kind-heart...
How come he almost never smiles? Maybe he's tired or...he's hurt. A serious guy with a hard shell.
On the Couple Battle, the moment she saw Shion's past...
How his mother made him suffer, changed him into a miserable condition to later abandon him...she felt sorrow and impotence. She wanted so badly to protect that small boy, to hug him and tell him he's perfect.
But she also wanted to slap that woman, her...mother in law. Someone who inflicts pain on others, especially on their own family...aren't good.
According to books, family are people linked by blood or affection. Always protecting each other, together in good and bad moments.
But Shion's mother was nothing like that. And she's determined to see him smile.
Because they're a family. According to Anise, Shion's memory may be altered by the broom magic, but she's not gonna give up.
He's never given up, and she won't do so either.
"Thank you, Luu"
She didn't knew the reasons behind her abandonment, but she didn't care. Her life before the jungle was very boring and lonely.
She's cursed and unwanted. Her mother? Never knew what happened to her and little she care. If she's left her, she didn't care about her...
Before she knew magic, she seek all ways to gain the others love or acceptance. All her attempts were useless and never worked.
All she gained were those hatred eyes. As if she's some demon.
And everything got worst when she trained her magic.
She's a demon, a curse, a plague...
A hateful intruder into the village.
However, when they told her she's gonna be a great 'flirty' girl and she's gonna save the villagers, she could see their eyes.
No hate but hopeful eyes on her. As if she's...wanted.
The first time she's useful and good to them.
...Then, why did their 'thanks' feel so empty and shallow? Why did her heart ache? Why...did she feel loonier?
Until Shion, Emma and Anise showed up, she's less lonely. At least. there's more people around.
Not that she complained but hunting food and battling beasts were kinda boring as a 'routine'. And again, she's great help for them to get the purge.
The pain, the determination and the rituals to protect Emma...it's weird. Hurts but didn't seem to mind them, Anise explained that's because they wish to be together forever and their ready to fight for it.
To battle anything for it.
She never understood until she's told the truth.
She's not a 'flirty' but...a sacrifice.
They wanted her to use her life to save their own. To get rid of her by protecting their people.
She didn't understood those words, she's never a smart girl...but she could feel her heartache. But she's gonna protect them, they're kind with her.
And when Shion protected her from that Zodia guy, she's...feeling calm? As if all danger was faraway. That's when...
Shion hugged her and thanked er for protecting them.
That's when she understood on her way...the difference between them and the villagers.
The true feeling of love and care. The feeling of a sincere thanks.
And when Emma suggested her to join them. But who would want a sacrificed child? She's just some...cursed child people hate.
However, they wanted her to join.
She's accepted...wanted and that felt right. They saw her as herself and accepted her, they didn't see her as a tool.
They gave her that warm welcome, clothing, love...and she wondered if this is how families are like.
Either way, she's happy to be there and even if didn't say it loud, Shion and Emma were her parents wit Anise as her sister.
Her mission was near the end. She can feel it.
She's born for that single purpose, to search for Echidna and take her back to Oz. Anise knows it meant the end of the world but it's not her business.
Besides, she and her comrades were gonna be spared, right? Oz were gonna protect us from the world's end?
Watching Shion eat and hearing him talk about Magico was worrying. If he fulfills the ritual, meant an obstacle to Oz.
Why didn't she say anything to Oz? She maybe...wanted to watch more?
Now, she must have told Oz and yet didn't.
Maybe she got attached to them? To Shion's stubborn personality? To look after Emma? To play with Luu? To feel love? To feel she belonged somewhere?
This was bad and meant she's flawed, but she didn't want to be right.
If feel love and belonged in somewhere was wrong, she didn't want to be right!
She must go and find a solution to this. To stop Oz from destroying her family.
Even if meant to risk her life, her family would be OK.
Her mind showered her with all memories, as if she knew she's gonna die and her brain wished her to indulge her pain.
She ran away. Determinate to fulfill her new mission.
Protect Shion, Emma and Luu.
On the living room, at some town, there's a young woman with a thick book with white pages.
Each page were white, empty and seemed to be pointless to have it. However, the woman felt it right.
"Emma? what are you doing?"
Emma turned her face to face her husband and smile warmly "Nothing much...just thinking"
Getting closer, Shion spotted the book and sat next his wife with some curiosity "That's a book?"
"A picture album"
He knew what's in his wife's mind. He's also wondering about their memories.
When they encounter again, their feelings and links felt lividly, but their memories where still foggy. They may recover their memories or never, since there's not much information about the ritual's aftermath.
No one has ever completed the ritual before them and if there's a chance to recover their memories together, it's uncertain.
But there's something for sure.
"Mom! Dad! I'm back!"
"Welcome home, Luu!" greeted Emma hugging her daughter as Shion patted her head lovely.
"How was school?" asked Shion.
"All fine! I made many friends and I showed my magic!"
"Really? That's great" said Shion proud.
"That's my sister, no wonder she's really popular" from behind the chair, Anise emerged and smiled.
"Anise! I made a new friend who has a talking cat also! He's a funny boy and strong!"
"Is that so? I wanna meet him" chuckles Anise as she join the hug.
The picture was empty due to its recent acquirement, on a fair in the town where Emma bought it-with some magical jellyfish, vegetables for dinner and some candies for Luu. She bought it thinking about maybe...
Scrap a family picture album. But there's no picture.
Because it's a new start.
Memories may be erase but their hearts were linked together, love connected them and they're a family.
A strong family.
And this new album showed a new chapter in their life. Where new memories will be make, new experiences, new challenges and this album would be a proof.
A proof not just about their new chapter. Since it also kept in mind their past.
As the family sit down to dinner on their kitchen, the album's back page was turned.
Showing an envelop.
But not any envelop. It's a magical one, a bit damaged but seemed to function.
"It's my first time writing a letter, so it's kinda embarrassing for me...but this is a letter for my husband Shion. You're a great person, strong, determinate and even if you don't show it openly, a really kind heart person" the hologram seem to glitch a little, but the voice and image kept going "And....that makes me fall for you ev-everyday and w-wish to never leave you. I...I love you Shion, you're a great husband, father and the best mage in the world."
The letter may have disappear, leaving no trade but it's message was heard.
And unlike the letter, those feelings were never gonna disappear.
After all...they're family and they'll never fall apart.