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"Right on time," Kain commented as Cecil came around the corner of the wall he'd been leaning against, right beside the castle gate. "For you, that's late."

Cecil gave him a slightly sheepish grin, settling back beside him. "I stopped by the white mages' room to see if Rosa wanted to walk with me."

"So where is she?" Kain smirked slightly. "We can't head out on a hunt without our healer."

"Not these days." Cecil grew more serious for a moment; the increasing abundance of monsters, drawing closer to Baron, had them all a little wary. Only for a moment, though, and the moment passed. "She had something she needed to talk to the instructor about - something about an Esuna spell that didn't go quite as planned."

"Mmm." Kain nodded. "She'll get it. She's good."

"A little too good," Cecil remarked. "That's the problem - it healed something it wasn't supposed to."

Kain couldn't help but laugh a little. "Well, we're that much safer in the woods, then."

Cecil nodded. Then after a brief pause... "Actually, I'm late because Alice asked after you."

Kain gave him a sharp, surprised look. "Alice? I thought it was Lisa."

"It was... last week," Cecil said with a grin. "You're pretty popular with the girls since you started growing your hair out."

Kain made a dismissive noise, flipping the feature in question back over his shoulder. It wasn't for them, but he supposed it was nice to hear. "Jealous?"

"Not really. ...Well, okay, maybe a little."

"You could always grow yours out, if you think girls just like me for my hair," Kain pointed out. "You've always got yours hidden under your helmet."

"And it would stay there even if I did grow it out," Cecil stated. "You know how ridiculous it would look? It suits the Dragoons' helms - not the Dark Knights'."

Kain just shrugged, settling back against the wall. He supposed that was true enough. The Dark Knights' garb was designed for stealth and defense, rather than agility - there were hardly any signs that a human was within.

The two of them fell into comfortable silence for a moment, until Cecil spoke up again, more quietly. "Hey, Kain...?"


"How far have you gone? With a girl..."

"...Why do you ask?"

Cecil shook his head at the slightly suspicious look Kain was giving him. "Not like it's a competition - just curious."

"For once." Kain snorted. "If that's true, then how far have you gone with a girl?"

"Not far at all," Cecil admitted. "Nellie kissed me a lot - but that was about it. And it was really her idea."

"Hmm..." So Cecil was serious about it not really being a competition. Kain might as well be honest too, then. "I haven't gone much further than that. I think Tina wanted me to... the front of her dresses kept getting lower and lower."

Cecil chuckled quietly. "But you didn't take the bait?"


"How come? I mean, if she was basically offering herself..."

"Doesn't mean I had to accept the offer." Kain tilted his head back against the stone wall of Baron's castle, closing his eyes. "She was fun, but that was all. Guess you could say I'm waiting for the right one to come along."

Cecil nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah, exactly... I'm waiting for the right girl too."

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" The two of them turned as a familiar voice rang out beside them, and Rosa appeared around the corner of the wall as well, still wearing her white mage acolyte robes. "Cecil told you I... Cecil, why are you laughing?" she inquired, looking from Kain to Cecil. "What did I miss?"

"Nothing," Cecil said, still laughing as he turned his head away. "Let's just get going."

Puzzled, Rosa turned to Kain as the two of them began to follow. "Why is he laughing?"

"Beats me." Kain wasn't even smiling; he found nothing amusing about it.