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Remember Me

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Sucrose was no stranger to the steep slopes of Dragonspine, so she made her ascent to forage for pristinely preserved sweet flowers in the sheer cold. Ideally she would’ve obtained supply through a third party, but no one seemed to follow through with her commission, making significant delays in Sucrose’s studies.

She looked up at the apex of the enigmatic mountain and pushed on. She half-heartedly joked that Albedo’s seemingly poor mood was attributed to Timaeus’ subpar work, but she had an uncanny feeling that it had something to do with her. But what exactly?

Come to think of it, he asked her about the commission Sucrose put up at the adventurer’s guild. She didn’t want to interrupt her mentor’s ongoing investigations at Dragonspine, nor did she want to bother the traveller, hence the request. She didn’t think much of it, but perhaps this was where it all began.

“Do you need anything from Dragonspine?”

“N-No.” Sucrose lied, “Please have a safe trip!”

Albedo looked quite troubled when he heard her response.

“Really?”

Sucrose only nodded docilely, not wanting to trouble her teacher.

Albedo sighed. “...Alright. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Why did she hide the truth from him?

-✧-

The mint-haired girl grinned to herself seeing adventurers out and about upon her ascent on the mountain. It added a certain liveliness to the otherwise cold and harsh terrain, making Sucrose feel slightly at ease knowing there were experienced adventurers out and about.

Her gloved fingers gently plucked the sweet flowers by the stem. They all grew tenaciously in the unforgiving snow. She’d gather them in a dainty basket as she foraged on. Her footsteps were so light that it didn’t take long for the snow to bury traces of her ever passing by.

The goulash she ate before climbing began to wear off, and she felt her digits turning colder by the second. At times like these, she’d think of the cosy campsite Albedo worked in.

“Someday, you may conduct your studies on Dragonspine.” He said to her once.

“What is it that I’m lacking right now? Knowledge? Experience?”

Albedo glanced away from his clipboard to smile at his eager student.

“Simply time, Sucrose.” He said enigmatically, “When that time comes, you’ll understand.”

Albedo spoke in ways that seemed to precede his deceptively youthful appearance at times—Sucrose wondered if they were truly similar in age at all.

Sucrose’s footsteps came to a halt when she noticed herself standing before her teacher’s campsite. A half-full potion bottle rolled off the table before making a dull thud on the floor; its contents spilling carelessly out onto the snow as it soaked the liquid.

She knew Albedo had a tendency to be quite messy, especially if he was stumped on an unsolved issue—but the state of his campsite was just… unlike anything she had ever seen before. Everything was displaced, from the alchemy table to the furniture.

Something was off.

“...Sucrose?”

“Y-Yes!” She yelped unintentionally, “D-Did something happen—”

“—No.” He interrupted jarringly, “I was only trying to find something, hence the state of the campsite.”

“O-Oh…” How silly of her to jump to conclusions. “What were you looking for?”

“I can’t tell you.” Albedo muttered as he conspicuously tucked something in his coat. “Why are you here?”

Sucrose removed her hood and her feline ears twitched out of relief. Then, she uncovered the cloth from her basket, revealing a bountiful harvest of freshly picked sweet flowers within.

“You see, I gathered these—”

Oh, no , she wasn’t supposed to tell him about her study.

“—t-to make candy from Dragonspine sweet flowers!” She tried to smoothly gloss over her words but failed as her tongue became tied.

Albedo stared at the sweet flowers Sucrose gathered as she tried to cover her lie with more flimsy excuses. The petals glistened radiantly in the campfire’s light nearby and a mysterious charm drew him in forebodingly.

“S-Sorry! I rambled so much again…” Sucrose turned a shade redder when she noticed Albedo’s pensive stare. “W-We should clean up—”

“—No need.” Albedo interrupted again, “Do you still need more sweet flowers?”

“U-Um…” It was true she only had a sample of 20 or so—more would be ideal, but she had been up here for a while already. She could always come back the next few days, and she was by no means in a rush.

“I’ll help you gather more.”

“Eh? B-But, your experiment—”

“Let it be.”

Sucrose winced as she watched Albedo head out of the cave, and the uncanny feeling from earlier settled in her heart. He must’ve found out she was lying about not needing anything from Dragonspine—why else would he be so insistent on gathering sweet flowers for her?

She meekly followed with a thousand thoughts clambering in her head. She didn’t do anything wrong asking for help through a third party, but lying was wrong to do. Sucrose stared at Albedo’s slim back, desperate for answers, but he said nothing as he treaded onwards.

-✧-

“You didn’t run into any whopperflowers?”

“N-No, I’ve gotten really good at identifying whopperflowers, after all.” Sucrose weakly smiled before breaking into a light cough.

“...That’s a relief.”

The cold was getting to Sucrose. She had been up in the mountains for a couple of hours now, and she ran out of goulash a while ago. She hadn’t expected to take so long, but perhaps she should’ve expected better from herself.

Albedo approached Sucrose, whose complexion appeared pale with blue lips. He placed a freshly picked sweet flower in her basket before sweeping her bangs to the side. If Sucrose wasn’t so fatigued, she’d jump back from how close he was to her.

“You’re cold.” He said with a hands colder than hers. “Here, I’ll warm you.”

He pulled Sucrose into an embrace, and Sucrose stiffly stood in his arms, completely shocked. Albedo had a tendency to be quite straightforward with his actions without worrying how others perceived it, but this was all too much for her little heart.

“U-Um, Mr. Albedo, t-this is…”

Albedo allowed her to lean slightly away, letting a small distance settle between them. Was he misunderstanding something? Humans often expressed affection through physical touch—so why did she look so surprised?

While his guard was down, a violent gust of wind so strong that it blew Sucrose’s flowers out of her basket.

“N-No! The flowers—”

Sucrose reached her hands out in a desperate attempt to salvage the flowers, but she mistakenly lost her balance on the slippery snow. Not only did she lose her flowers, she also lost her mother’s handwoven basket as it fell from six feet above.

“M-Mr. Albedo…”

Albedo happened to grab onto her arm in time, but their positioning was awkward. He wasn’t going to have enough leverage to pull her up, and they both knew this. Sucrose couldn’t guarantee their safety if she used anemo on one hand to push herself back up with Albedo grabbing onto her.

“Shit.”

Why did he feel such a strong inclination to help her, when he barely knew her? He was just a failure of the Primordial Human Project, who only resembled the Kreideprinz in appearance. She may be a subject of Albedo’s affection from the sketchbooks he found, but she should’ve been a nobody to him .

“I’m sorry Mr. Albedo—”

“Stop talking—”

“—will you pick flowers with me again sometime?”

She smiles but tears are overflowing from her amber eyes—and with her teary look burned into his mind, his fingers give way and Sucrose slips from his grip. Sucrose's last words to him sting deeply—and he remains frozen in place, hand empty. He curled his fists tight, but his heart turned hollow as the wind howled.

“All this for some flowers…”

If only he held her tighter.

-✧-