Chapter 610 Intimacy and Separation
The sun looked dim as if it was running low on its array-powered batteries.
The golden rays of the disappearing star made the white clouds and flying birds stand out more.
The winds carried the smells of all kinds of food.
There were a lot of street vendors selling mortal food.
Some shopkeepers kept their businesses open exclusively for the city\'s ranker population.
The black-haired young man and blond-haired cute girl were holding each other\'s hands firmly as they were watching a drama play together at the city\'s open amphitheater.
The actors and behind-the-scenes experts were all Novice rankers.
Earlier, the couple had ventured on a shopping spree post their lunch date together.
The girl got herself all kinds of clothes and accessories, both ranked and rankless items.
Of course, her date paid for them all.
Unbeknownst to the blonde girl, the young man was cursing the shopkeepers and itemancers for their high prices while displaying a graceful smile on his face.
He could not hide the fact that the smile was forced.
The trained eyes of the shopkeepers were made to see through their customers.
Yet, they didn\'t show him any mercy.
In his mind, he even thought that they were crueler than he was to his victims.
Attending the play was the girl\'s idea as well.
She had planned her whole day meticulously, and the play was an integral part of it.
With their spells and array setups, the actors gave a vibrant touch to the play.
Their acting skills were only so-so.
But when it came to the dramatization of the verbal and physical fights, they seemed more visually appealing than real-life affairs that only spilled blood and gore.
The blond girl oddly enjoyed the play in front of her while the black-haired boy kept on dissecting their lack of skills in choreographing the fight scenes.
He talked about the producers failing to add a touch of reality to the drama.
He talked about how they could have effectively made use of certain spells or arrays.
But the blue-eyed girl only laughed at the guy\'s comments.
He always said them at the right time when the actors were about to fumble.
The pair laughed at the actors\' expense.
And so did the audience.
And yet, the laughter only seemed to cheer the actors up even more.
The drama also contained a humorous element after all.
While it looked accidental, the comedy was planned and planted at the right time.
The play ended soon after.
The happy and satisfied audience started to leave.
The viewers had already paid for the show using Extols.
If it was up to the black-haired young man, he would never spend his money on such plays.
He was in dire need of money after all.
Such expenses would only make more holes in his sleeve, which was already bleeding money.
But now, he was glad that he had come here and watched the play.
He was beginning to think that maybe he should cut himself some slack and enjoy the moments once in a while.
He was bound to stay broke for a long time.
He might as well become even more broke by enjoying these moments with his date.
The couple walked in the direction that would soon take them outside the Lifestyle District.
Their next destination was the northeastern city entrance, which was far from them.
They had to use rental carriages.
Eren, I\'ll have to tell you something.
Altashia spoke after she and Eren boarded the carriage.
She was looking outside the window as the scenes in front of her kept on changing.
The wide streets of the city of New Beginnings weren\'t to be scoffed at.
My city will also need big roads and rental carriages.\'
Eren made a note of these things before responding to Altashia.
He had already understood why Altashia had gone silent the moment she had gone silent.
You are leaving the army, aren\'t you
A light smile appeared on his face.
A smile that wasn\'t really a smile.
With a stoic expression on her face, Altashia nodded to Eren.
Unlike him, she wasn\'t bound by her on-field assignment anymore.
She didn\'t have to prove to the kingdom that she was a trained ranker.
That\'s because her status as an Adept ranker was proof enough.
My Adept rank has allowed me to graduate from Royal Ren.
It has also allowed me to make use of the special resources the academy has to offer to its Adept ranked students.
I don\'t have to serve in the army anymore.
I am also relieved of any binding contracts.
Staying here would only hinder my growth.
Eren patted the back of Altashia\'s hands while holding them in his.
A smile spread across his face before he added up.
You better not slack, Al.
I\'m right behind you and I\'ll do my absolute best to overtake you soon.
The couple remained silent for a while.
Eren and Altashia both knew that this was bound to happen when she had a breakthrough into Adept rank.
This date was the first time they had been this close to each other.
But it also served as a way for them to bid farewell for the time being.
Intimacy and separation.
Contrary to what Eren was expecting, Altashia didn\'t laugh at his jab.
She did not deny his claim.
She narrowed her pretty eyes on him before speaking with a serious expression.
I\'m inclined to believe you would do just that if I stayed here.
Why do you think I\'m leaving this early
Don\'t underestimate me, Eren Idril.
For a change, I\'m planning to go all out with my ranking progress when I leave the army.
Let\'s see who wins the duel next time.
Eren gulped empty air when he heard Altashia\'s proclamation.
If her progress till now was her taking things at her pace, he dreaded to think how far she would go when she dedicates herself to advancing through her ranks.
Eren\'s progress had intimidated Altashia.
Now she thought of becoming serious in her efforts.
So she contacted her Gramps and told him about her breakthrough.
Altair smiled at her when he was called by his granddaughter.
But in the next moment, he told her how slow she had become.
And yet, instead of her usual anger toward her grandpa, she agreed with him.
I want to train with you for a bit.
I also need some guidance.
Altashia spoke to Altair on the call.
The latter was a bit surprised by his granddaughter\'s sudden shift of mood.
So he had to ask her what had changed.
Altashia said those words with difficulty before cutting her call, leaving Altair with a blank face.
Soon that blank face broke into hearty laughter when he realized that his granddaughter had finally tasted the bitter fruit of loss.
Altair thanked the person who had defeated Altashia.
Because of them, Altashia had found the drive she was missing in her ranking journey.
Because of them, she was now able to invest her heart and soul into her hard work.
Altair didn\'t know that his granddaughter had not only lost a duel but also her heart to the same man.
He also didn\'t know that she had decided to cover all the bases with him before her separation from him.
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